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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. -- IGS Energy plans to build and operate a $10-million network of compressed natural gas fueling stations, the CNG Fueling Corridor, in West Virginia.
The network will run along Interstate 79 from Charleston, W. Va., north to Mount Morris, Pa., according to the Associated Press. The plan calls for stations in Charleston, Bridgeport and Jane Lew, along with the one near the Pennsylvania line.
The stations will serve the increasing number of businesses and residents using natural gas vehicles, explained IGS Energy President Scott White. The company said the CNG Fueling Corridor is the first of its kind since drilling in the Marcellus shale field began to take off, the news outlet added.
IGS' CNG Services division plans to begin construction in the next few months, and West Virginia business manager T.J. Meadows said the Charleston and Bridgeport stations should be online by the end of the third quarter. Jane Lew and Mount Morris, he said, should be operational by the end of the year.
However, "this is by no means a 'one and done,'" he said. "We very much anticipate putting stations across the state."
IGS is eyeing a similar network in Ohio, and possibly in Pennsylvania.
"We see it not only as the fuel of tomorrow," Meadows said, "but we see it, quite candidly, as the fuel of today."
In West Virginia last fall, the Governor's Natural Gas Vehicle Task Force said that low prices support a shift toward CNG vehicles, and that it would look at ways to expand the network of fueling stations. West Virginia had compressed natural gas filling centers in the 1990s, but they failed to catch on with consumers, according to the AP report.
This time, White said, it's responding to "emerging market demand." Because natural gas is both abundant and produced domestically, he said, the concept is becoming more popular. He said drivers will be able to refuel in about the same time it takes to gas up at a traditional gas station for less money.