UGI opens compressed natural gas station in Bethlehem

July 30, 2018. Reading-based UGI Utilities Inc. hosted a ribbon cutting today for the opening of a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station at its Bethlehem office, with plans for at least a dozen more stations throughout its service region.

   The fueling station at the company’s City Line Avenue office will serve UGI’s fleet of natural gas powered vehicles, including dump trucks, vans and trucks, officials said.

   “This was a tremendous project to work on,” said Dan Warren, manager of real estate services for UGI Utilities. Warren described the facility as a monument to the growth of natural gas.

   Officials said the fueling station helps the company promote clean energy and that using natural gas for vehicle fuel improves the environment by lowering emissions.

   “The price compared with the environmental benefit is phenomenal,” said Becky Eshbach, director of marketing strategy for UGI Utilities.

   Compressed natural gas burns more cleanly than gasoline or diesel fuel and can reduce a vehicle’s emissions by as much as 90 percent, officials said.

   UGI operates a compressed natural gas fueling station at its Wilkes-Barre office and is in the preliminary stages of building one in its Archbald territory, Eshbach said. “We are also working on other locations, working with PennDOT and multiple other businesses,” she said.

   UGI plans to build 11 to 12 stations over the next five to six years along the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Eshbach said. These would be for any type of vehicles, including passenger and light-duty trucks.

   Overall, UGI has 46 compressed natural gas vehicles and about 25 in the Lehigh Valley, she said. The company ordered an additional 40 vehicles designed to run on natural gas and UGI should receive these vehicles this year.

   Air & Gas Technologies, a company based in Keyport, N.J., constructed the City Line Road station, which cost $600,000 to build. The fueling station is 784 square feet.