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CNG facility fast forwards Greer's transportation revolution

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Tuesday, November 18, 2014

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A QuikTrip will front the Spire Natural Gas Fueling Solutions facility near the intersection of S. Hwy. 101 and I-85.
 
 

A QuikTrip will front the Spire Natural Gas Fueling Solutions facility near the intersection of S. Hwy. 101 and I-85.

 

 

The Greer transportation revolution is moving full speed ahead.

Spire Natural Gas Fueling Solutions will hold a groundbreaking Thursday for, reportedly, one of the five biggest compressed natural gas (CNG) fast fill stations in the United States. The Laclede Group and Siemens are building the facility.

Greer Commission of Public Works will sell Spire its natural gas. CPW will run a service line to the site and Spire will be responsible for metering usage to vehicles.

“This is a game changer,” said Rob Rhodes, gas operations manager for CPW. “This is a major investment and our projections are that it will be very profitable.”

Fast fill pumps can fill automobiles from 10 gallons a minute to the projected 15 gallons a minute for trucks.

The location, 85 Freeman Farm Road, will be behind QuikTrip at the intersection of S. Hwy. 101 and I-85. QuikTrip and the CNG fast fill station are scheduled to open in 2015 – QuikTrip in the second quarter, and the CNG in the third quarter.

QuikTrip will have a bigger area for truck parking to allow drivers to stock up on goods when stopping at the fast fill station.

“Greer is becoming a transportation hub,” said Reno Deaton, Executive Director of the Greer Development Corp. “Historically we have GSP (Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport), Greer has great access to the interstates, we have the new addition in the inland port and now CNG.”

GSP’s $125 million Wingspan, terminal improvement project, is scheduled for completion in spring 2016. The $50 million inland port received its first container in October 2013, and Norfolk Southern Railroad announced last month a sixth train to transport cargo to the Charleston port.

“This is an exciting time for us,” Rhoads said. “I’ve been here 36 years and there have been so many changes in just the last 15 years.

Kimley-Horn and Associates of Charlotte, later Tuesday, presented the final town hall presentation for the Partnership For Tomorrow’s next 15-year planned development.

GSP is also marketing several tracts of land surrounding the inland port for commercial and manufacturing development.

Ironically, the inland port was promoted for eventually eliminating approximately 50,000 truck trips along the I-26 corridor in Spartanburg County. The heavily traveled I-85 corridor in greater Greer may be a magnet for additional truck traffic for refueling.

“The 101/85 corridor is a mecca for transportation companies,” Rhodes said. “It’s a convenient location for trucks that affect our environment. I think you’re going to see the trucking companies multiply and many switch to CNG.”

Natural gas, on average, is half the cost of conventional gasoline at the pump. CNG is safer than other fuels in the event of a spill, natural gas is lighter than air and disperses quickly when released, and natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel with dramatically reduced emissions.

 

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