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    Kwik Trip Hopes to Have 30 Natural Gas Stations by Year-End

    C-store chain believes CNG is the "next big thing" in vehicle fuels.

    OWATONNA, Minn. – Kwik Trip Inc. plans to have as many as 30 compressed natural gas (CNG) stations by the end of 2013.

    The convenience store retailer most recently opened a CNG fueling station in Owatonna, Minn., and operates nine CNG stations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

    Specifically, Kwik Trip Alternative Fuels Superintendent Joel Hirschboeck told the Owatonna People’s Press that the company plans to open CNG stations near highways and expects to soon add CNG stations in the Minneapolis/St. Paul and Cedar Falls, Iowa, areas.

    Hirschboeck added that Kwik Trip is a forward-looking company. “Really, what we see from a vehicle fuel perspective is CNG being that next [big thing],” he told the news outlet. “Its that same line that comes in the ground, heating your homes and providing cooking on your stoves.”

    As CSNews Online previously reported, experts state CNG provides many benefits compared to traditional petroleum, including being locally produced with a 100-year supply. In addition, CNG is considered to be cleaner burning and cheaper than its counterpart. In Owatonna, for example, the news source reported consumers can purchase CNG for $1.79 per gallon, compared to well above $3 for regular gasoline.

    Drawbacks to CNG include the growing, but still limited number of fueling stations, as well as the lack of CNG-powered vehicles on the market.

    However, despite some drawbacks, many c-store chains have already opened CNG and/or liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling stations, including Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc., OnCue Express, TravelCenters of America LLC and The Cumberland Gulf Group.

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