April 25, 2014. Local beer distributor Champion Brands is partnering with Chicago-based Trillium CNG to build what will be the city’s first privately owned open-to-the-public compressed natural gas (CNG) dispensing station in the city of Florida state.
The roughly $2 million project will be capable of producing about 2 million gallons a year. While Champion’s fleet will be a sort of “anchor tenant” for the station, it will sell the fuel to anyone who can use it.
The site, across from Champion’s distribution center, was a never-opened concrete plant, said Earl Benton, president and general manager of Champion Brands Inc., which owns the property. It’s accessible to Interstate 295 and Philips Highway, and there a number of other transportation-focused companies nearby, which Benton said should make it easier to attract other users.
Consulting engineers Eisman & Russo Inc. are in the midst of working on permitting for the project, with construction expected to be done by October 1.
The natural gas for the station will be supplied by TECO Peoples Gas, said Anddrikk Frazier, regional director of business development for Trillium, the second largest CNG operator in the country. The company already has CNG stations in Orlando and Tampa, as well as one in Georgia.
The main earlier user of the site will be Champion Brands, which has a 40-vehicle fleet; it will replace a dozen of its trucks in the coming year, with the rest being replaced over the following two years.