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    Circle K, QuikTrip Form CNG Partnerships

    Both c-store chains will offer the alternative fuel in the near future.

    HOUSTON and GREER, S.C. — Circle K Stores Inc. and QuikTrip Corp. will both offer compressed natural gas (CNG) in the near future as part of separate transactions.

    Circle K, a division of Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., will team up with VNG.co LLC to offer CNG at its new Houston facility, located at 12300 Veterans Memorial Highway on the northwest side of the city. In addition to the VNG fast-fill CNG dispenser that will be open to the public 24/7, the Circle K location will feature a 4,400-square-foot convenience store offering fresh foods.

    "We are excited to offer CNG as another fuel option and to be partnering with VNG to offer Houston motorists a convenient, alternative choice for their transportation needs," said Alex Miller, vice president of fuels for Circle K, which has more than 3,300 U.S. locations.

    Robert Friedman, chief operating officer of VNG, noted that the Bala Cynwyd, Pa.-based CNG fueling provider is pleased to partner with Circle K. "By offering drivers of light-duty CNG vehicles a familiar, convenient and reliable retail location to fuel, they can drive with the confidence that CNG will be readily available," he said. "As an added bonus, they can take care of their retail needs in a new, contemporary Circle K facility."

    Meanwhile, Tulsa, Okla.-based QuikTrip is opening a CNG station in Greer, S.C. The upstate South Carolina travel center is set to open in 2015 and will be located at the intersection of Interstate 85 and Highway 101.

    The CNG fueling location is a partnership between QuikTrip and Spire, a division of St. Louis-based The Laclede Group, with support from the Building Technologies Division of Siemens Industry Inc. 

    In addition to offering the alternative fuel, the location will feature a large QuikTrip convenience store offering fresh food, expanded parking and certified scales. The station will be open 24/7 365 days a year, and will serve both fleets and the general public.

    "Fleet owners will quickly see the financial benefits of this technology and the price difference in the fuel. When you add that up over a fleet of vehicles, the math makes sense," said Peter Stansky, chief operating officer of Spire. "Right now, many drivers are paying $3.60 a gallon for diesel at the pump. These drivers can save a full dollar or more per gallon for compressed natural gas fuel compared to gasoline or diesel. Natural gas is clean, abundant and domestic, and that keeps the price down while also being better for our environment."

    QuikTrip Corp. operates more than 700 convenience stores, primarily in the Midwest and southern regions of the United States.

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