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Opening York County's first public compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station was a natural fit for Shipley Energy, according to the company's owner.

Shipley, the owner of several Tom's Convenience Stores, has a background in fuel retail and natural gas supply, and the company owns a fleet of trucks, including several vehicles that already run on CNG.

Matt Sommer, Shipley's president, said the company's CNG-fueled vehicles are currently stored in Baltimore, where adequate fueling stations exist, but they'll be brought to York once the company opens its new station in Spring Garden Township.

Construction has begun at the site of the former York Oil plant, at 714 Loucks Mill Road. The CNG station is expected to open in November.

CNG is an alternative fuel widely being adopted by major freight companies across the country because it costs, on average, 40 percent less than diesel and cuts overall emissions by up to 30 percent, according to a Shipley news release.

Sommer said the new fueling station, which is being built in partnership with Clean Energy Fuels, will be able to fuel two CNG vehicles at once, taking between four and 15 minutes to fuel depending on the vehicle's size. The location will not include a Tom's Convenience Store, he added.

Shipley is looking to expand its use of CNG vehicles and is hopeful the new station will encourage more local businesses to do the same, Sommer said.

From zero to two: One local company that is already on board is Rabbit Transit, which might end up being able to claim it opened the first public CNG fueling station in the county.

The transit authority is in the process of moving its York facility from 1230 Roosevelt Ave. in York City to the former Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff warehouse at 415 Zarfoss Drive in West Manchester Township. Renovations on the warehouse have been designed to accommodate a public CNG fueling station.

Rich Farr, Rabbit Transit's executive director, previously said he was hopeful the station would be ready when the company moves into the new facility by the end of August.

Sommer said the two stations opening should help more local companies view CNG as a viable option.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.

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