Speedway, U.S. Oil to Open CNG Sites in Ohio

Retailers to grow Buckeye State's compressed natural gas infrastructure

IGS CNG Speedway (CSP Daily News / Convenience Store Petroleum)

FINDLAY, Ohio -- In two separate deals, Speedway and U.S. Oil will be adding to Ohio's compressed-natural-gas (CNG) infrastructure with new fueling sites set to open this year.

Speedway LLC, Enon, Ohio, is partnering with IGS CNG Services to build a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in Findlay, Ohio, the same town where Speedway parent Marathon Petroleum Corp. is based.

The site will be located off of I-75 at the State Route 99 exit at an existing Speedway site, with construction set to begin early this summer.

The site will serve businesses that have converted their fleet to natural gas, both those in the area and those traveling through. It will be IGS CNG Services' sixth location and Speedway's second. Speedway currently has another CNG fueling site in Monona, Wis., in partnership with a local gas and electric utility company.

Speedway president Tony Kenney told CSP Daily News recently that the company plans to open four to six CNG sites this year, with a partnership model.

Scott White, president of IGS Energy, said the Findlay Speedway site will have two fast-fill CNG lanes that will enable customers to fuel up in about the same time as a conventional fuel vehicle.

Based in Dublin, Ohio, IGS CNG is focusing on building CNG stations throughout the Midwest. It currently has five public sites in West Virginia and Ohio. Its services include ownership and operation of fast-fill CNG fueling stations; consulting and modeling to optimize ROI and capital requirements for fleets; and price risk mitigation services.

Separately, U.S. Oil's Gain Clean Fuel subsidiary is expanding the number of its sites in Ohio. Most recently, it opened a station this April in Columbus, Ohio, for FST Logistics Inc., which is also converting its fleet to CNG.

Gain Clean Fuel plans to have a station every 250 to 300 miles in the lower 48 states, according to Columbus Business First.

"This is pretty big for us," Mike Reed, business development manager for Gain Clean Fuel, Appleton, Wis., told the newspaper. "We're looking to replicate it outside of this company. Right now we're aiming at most major metropolitan areas in industrialized states to accomplish this."

Gain Clean Fuel does not turn a profit by having FST as its anchor tenant, the report said. Instead, Gain Clean Fuel and FST both get a cut of the profit made when other vehicles fuel up at the CNG station.

Gain Clean Fuel is partnering with J Rayl Transport Inc. to supply it with CNG as it converts its fleet. J Rayl Transport, Akron, Ohio, is a family-owned transportation company serving the tire, food, beverage, retail, plastics and other industries.

U.S. Oil has acquired an existing CNG station at J Rayl's headquarters, which opened in 2013. U.S. Oil will also build a new Gain Clean Fuel station in Sunnyvale, Texas, to serve J Rayl's long-haul transportation routes. J Rayl will use the two new Ohio stations--set to open this September--and other Gain Clean Fuel stations along the East Coast. Both of the new Ohio sites will also be open for use by other fleets and the general public.

U.S. Oil is a division of U.S. Venture Inc., an energy and transportation products distributor and marketer. Beyond its Gain Clean Fuel subsidiary, U.S. Venture's Express Convenience Centers division owns and operates 15 c-stores in six Midwestern states.

Part of CSP's 2014 Convenience Top 101 retailers