Columbia Gas launches environmentally friendly alternative fuel vehicle pilot program

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Four white men pose next to a Columbia Gas pump in a gravel parking lot.

Columbia Gas officials announced the launch of an alternative fuel vehicle pilot program that uses an adsorbed natural gas (ANG) platform developed by Ingevity Corporation, called NeuFuel, which, when used with renewable natural gas (RNG), has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 130%.

During a kickoff event at the Columbia Gas Operations Center in Dunbar, Pa., representatives from Columbia Gas, Ingevity and Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities unveiled the fleet truck that will be evaluated through the program, a Ford F250 fitted with the NeuFuel system, as well as the onsite fueling appliance and discussed the system’s potential as a long-term fleet solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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“At Columbia Gas we are relentlessly focused on serving our customers in a way that is safe, reliable, environmentally responsible, and sustainable,” Mark Kempic, president & COO of Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, said. “Using the NeuFuel platform with one of our fleet trucks is a great example of how Columbia Gas is testing innovative technologies from companies like Ingevity to examine potential options for a greener vehicle fleet, cost-effectiveness, and potential growth of renewable natural gas to fuel fleet vehicles.”

Unlike natural gas-powered vehicles using compressed natural gas (CNG), ANG-powered vehicles allow a vehicle’s fueling system to operate at a lower pressure compared to traditional CNG vehicles. In addition, unlike traditional CNG fueling stations, an onsite ANG fueling appliance is smaller, low-cost, and can easily be redeployed as needed.

Ingevity’s NeuFuel system enables vehicles to cost-effectively utilize carbon-neutral RNG and provides a more environmentally friendly option for light-duty trucks and vans. NeuFuel-equipped vehicles can emit over 25 percent fewer greenhouse gases than comparable gasoline and diesel vehicles, and when RNG is used for fueling, emissions can be reduced by anywhere from 80% to 130%.

“We are excited to welcome Columbia Gas into the NeuFuel family. Our goal is to help fleets immediately and cost-effectively transition to a cleaner, carbon-neutral fuel so that they can save on fuel costs while continuing to advance their sustainability goals,” Robert Friedman, Ingevity’s managing director of NeuFuel, said. “We are also grateful to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for providing grants to organizations like Columbia Gas, giving them access to alternative fuel technologies like NeuFuel in an effort to further reduce their carbon footprint.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection provided a grant through its Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant Program to fund in part the pilot program. The Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant Program invests in the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles, fleets, refueling infrastructure and technologies.

“We are enthusiastic about this pilot program and the tremendous potential for innovative natural gas technologies like this,” Kempic said. “Columbia Gas, and our parent company, NiSource, continually make investments in pipeline replacement, leak detection, and fleet productivity to improve safety, reliability, and environmental performance. Investments like this will help us reach our corporate goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 90 percent by 2030.”

To learn more about Columbia Gas and its focus on sustainability, visit www.ColumbiaGasPA.com.

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