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Two compressed natural gas stations to open in Arkansas

By: 10 January 2012 One Comment

Honda Civic GX

The Arkansas Energy Office announced it is issuing grants totaling $470,000 to pay for to compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations in Arkansas.

Satterfield Oil Company will receive $235,000 to add CNG to an existing station on Oak Street in Conway and the City of Little Rock will receive $235,000 to add CNG to an existing fueling station at 9th  St. and I-30, a news release states. The United States, of course, boasts a large, domestic supply of natural gas and the federal government provides a rebate of up to 50 percent of the cost of converting a car to use CNG and a rebate for the incremental costs of purchasing a new CNG vehicle.

Those wanting a new vehicle will find their choices are decidedly limited in that the only commercially available one is the Honda Civic GX, which starts at $26,155 and yields an average of 27 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the Interstate through its 110 horsepower four cylinder engine. That’s a bit pricier than either the Honda Civic Hybrid — which starts at $23,950 — or the $15,805 entry price for the Honda Civic Sedan.

A problem with CNG vehicles is where to find fuel for them. While there are home filling kits available such as the Phill Home Fuel CNG Station, which sells for $4,500 plus installation. There are few CNG filling stations in Arkansas that are open to the public. There are, in fact, only three open to the public according to the U.S. Department of Energy — the city of North Little Rock has one at 320 Curtis Sykes Dr, Southwestern Energy Damascus Station has one at 16038 Hwy. 65 South in Damascus and Arkansas Oklahoma Gas Corp. has one at 2100 S. Waldron Road in Fort Smith. The grant will add two CNG stations to that total.

Those who have a CNG-powered vehicle and a way to fill it will realize a significant savings in fuel costs. According to the Department of Energy, the average national price for a gallon of regular unleaded in October was $3.46 while CNG was 39.6 percent lower at $2.09 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE).

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

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