CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Contractors have broken ground at the site of the new compressed natural gas vehicle fueling stations located at the Foodland on Spring Street in Charleston.
A crew with the Charlotte, N.C.-based Jones & Frank energy infrastructure firm began initial site work Tuesday morning. They will begin moving dirt and flattening the land this week before moving onto the next phase of the project.
The station, which is expected to be finished by November, is one of three stations IGS Energy CNG Services is building along the Interstate 79 corridor.
The first station in Bridgeport is nearly complete and construction on the third station near Jane Lew is expected to begin later this summer.
Officials hope the three stations will inspire more consumers to switch from gasoline-only vehicles to newer models that can run on natural gas, which is currently much cheaper than traditional fuel.
" Natural gas offers a cheap and environmentally friendly alternative to gasoline or diesel," IGS Energy president Scott White said. "Because natural gas is both abundant and produced domestically, vehicles fueled by natural gas are becoming an increasingly popular transportation option."
The Charleston station will feature two large compressors that will make it easier to transfer natural gas from local Mountaineer Gas lines to pressurized storage tanks and then into vehicles through the station's pumps.
Officials said the compressors will provide enough pressure to allow consumers to fuel their vehicles in roughly the same amount of time it would take to fill up a conventional gasoline tank.
Additionally, IGS has partnered with Antero Resources, Chesapeake Energy, EQT Corporation and the state Division of Highways to fuel their natural gas-powered fleet vehicles at the three stations under construction in the I-79 corridor.
"We appreciate the commitment our anchor-partners have made," White said. "Without their vision and dedication, the Corridor project would not have been possible."
Contact writer Jared Hunt at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.