Skip to comments.Dandy Mini Marts' Field of Gas Dreams: Shale gas booming, retailer to enter CNG business...
Posted on 01/18/2013 10:38:04 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
TOWANDA, Pa. -- In the backyard of the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation, another petroleum retailer is entering the natural gas business.
This Friday, Dandy Mini Marts is debuting its first compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling location in a grand opening at its Towanda, Pa., c-store, with local dignitaries and industry representatives in attendance.
The site--said to be the first public CNG fueling site in Northern Pennsylvania--has been open for the past month (see slideshow below), with a second site under construction in Sayre, Pa., due to open around the beginning of March, and third location slated for Elmira, N.Y.
As Randy Williams, owner of Dandy Mini Marts, a chain of 70 stores in New York and Pennsylvania, explained in an exclusive interview with CSP Daily News, the decision to get into CNG was a gut call rooted in the desire to be all things to all customers.
"When you offer different things, whether it is fuel or items in your store, you try to appeal to a broader base of customers," said Williams. "If you don't have it, maybe you're left out."
Dandy Mini Marts was recruited to the CNG business by Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., the second largest natural gas producer is the United States and the primary leaseholder in the Marcellus Shale...
(Excerpt) Read more at cspnet.com ...
I like CNG for a number of reasons: It’s cheap (at least for now), it’s home-grown, and it doesn’t require a car to carry dead-weight (i.e., batteries), and very complex systems to manage the batteries.
So in a bad-day scenario, CNG cars may be the only thing on the road.
Honda Civic Natural Gas
Thanks, I’m familiar with that vehicle - and it is very tempting. From what I read two or so years ago, they had home-based compressor stations, but not anymore. So you’re stuck finding places to fill up. At the time, there were 3 places in all of Houston - now there’s 4. Better, but not much competition (and the prices showed it back then).
I’m waiting a bit longer before buying something like that Civic...but a larger vehicle conversion is a very interesting thought.
The home based refueling system is slow and costly. The real answer is converting your vehicle to dual use. Eliminates cold starting problems and issues with refilling. CNG extends the life of your engine and you need less frequent oil changes. I will go down that path myself in the near future.
“The home based refueling system is slow and costly. The real answer is converting your vehicle to dual use. Eliminates cold starting problems and issues with refilling. CNG extends the life of your engine and you need less frequent oil changes. I will go down that path myself in the near future.”
Yea, I’m thinking that too. Would be a fun project. I still like the idea of home re-fueling, but I might try it in a different way, such as by having several tanks that stay at home (outdoor shed against the garage, of course). Then use the crappy 6-hour filler on those - but the car gets to fill up from those tanks. Assuming that you can get 3600 psi into the tanks, you can then bring your car up to 2700 psi (i.e., 90% full), if you have enough storage tank volume (i.e., 3x the amount the car holds).
Anyway, I’m still pretty far off from doing that. I also wonder if those home compressors could do better if a higher rate of gas flow were available - either bigger lines or higher pressure. Something that I would think about for my next house.
There are fleet CNG vehicles popping up for sale all the time, usually low mile and reasonably well maintained. There’s a fairly large outfit in Oklahoma that handles nothing but, can’t recall the site but last I visited they had red Chevy Cavalier sedan with 20k miles for $5,000 and a fairly new 4wd white S-10 pickup with 40k miles priced just shy of $10,000. Those were the cheapest ones that appeared servicable. Nearly all US makes for better or worse, plain looking but with basic creature comforts, air, automatic, etc.
I like the idea, but the closer I looked the less I liked. Filters, condensation, inspections, my homeowners insurance, no fuel tax paid (I know, I know) and cost were deterrents.
So much easier to do it at a station.
Nice idea - buy a used fleet vehicle. Saves on the conversion trouble.
“I like the idea, but the closer I looked the less I liked. Filters, condensation, inspections, my homeowners insurance, no fuel tax paid (I know, I know) and cost were deterrents. So much easier to do it at a station. “
Yea, I didn’t get that far...but yea, it would likely be for my next house, where I could work it into a remote garage and not even bother letting the gas company or insurance know about it. Good point on the condensation, especially here in Houston. Not sure about the fuel tax, but if they wanted a penny or two per mile, I would be cool coughing that up.
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