Compressed natural gas station changes owners

A Maryland company that distributed electricity and compressed natural gas has expanded its market into Indiana and Ohio with the purchase of seven stations, including one in Seymour.

Constellation announced the cash purchase of the stations from Fort Wayne-based CNG Fuel Inc. on Tuesday.

The 1,548-square-foot station in Seymour opened in the fall of 2014 at 420 Stevens Way.

Judy Rader, director of external communications for Constellation and its parent company, Exelon Corp., said there will not be any changes at the Seymour station because of the sale.

“The station will continue to serve its existing customer fleets, and we will explore expansion if and when our customers need it,” Rader said.

She said the purchase opens up a new market for the companies.

Compressed natural gas is an alternative fuel for trucks using diesel.

Constellation will own and operate the stations as public/private-access fueling sites for regional and interstate transportation fleets.

The purchase allows Constellation to leverage its scale and core expertise as a leading natural gas supplier and marks Constellation’s expansion into the CNG market, supporting the continued growth of its distributed energy business, according to a news release.

“Our customers and business partners see CNG and electric vehicle charging as key opportunities to address their long-term sustainability and cost management objectives,” said Gary Fromer, senior vice president of distributed energy for Constellation. “The addition of CNG to Constellation’s retail offerings will help our customers accelerate fleet conversions while allowing Constellation to address their CNG infrastructure and gas supply management requirements.”

Through its distributed energy business, Constellation is working with a number of its customers to develop, build, own and operate CNG fueling stations in locations to serve customer-owned and third-party contracted fleets.

There are an estimated 150,000 natural gas vehicles on the road today, and that number is expected to grow, according to NVG America. There are, however, only 1,514 compressed natural gas stations in the country.

The economics for fleet conversion are compelling, according to global management consulting, technology and outsourcing company Accenture, which is working with Constellation on alternative fueling markets.

Vehicle conversion and infrastructure development is underway throughout the United States, driven by expectations of long-term low-price volatility in natural gas, corporate sustainability initiatives and potential additional incentives via developing carbon markets.

One of the 10 largest natural gas marketers in the United States, Constellation delivers more than 2 trillion cubic feet of gas annually to homes, businesses, regulated utilities and municipal co-ops.

In 2014, Constellation deepened its retail natural gas supply footprint in Indiana and Ohio through the acquisitions of ETC ProLiance Energy and Integrys Energy Services.

Constellation’s six CNG fueling stations are located in Indianapolis, Lafayette, Greensburg and Seymour in Indiana and Dayton and Findlay in Ohio with an additional fueling station currently under development in Fort Wayne.

Each of the stations has the capacity available for future growth.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.