Kum & Go, an Iowa-based convenience store chain and retail fuel provider, has opened its first compressed natural gas (CNG) station.
Located at an existing Kum & Go spot at 1220 E. Robinson Ave. in Springdale, Ark., the facility now features two newly installed CNG dispensers. Kum & Go was tapped last year to receive state incentives for the project, and the company claims the installation represents the first public-access CNG station in northwest Arkansas.
Although the alternative fuel is already flowing at the site, Kum & Go will host a ceremony to mark the official grand opening of the CNG station on June 4.
“Kum & Go has a proud tradition of being an industry leader in sustainable practices,” says Kyle Krause, CEO of Kum & Go. “By providing CNG to our northwest Arkansas communities, we are not only filling a need for our customers, we're also staying true to our commitment to operating our business with a focus on being environmentally friendly.”
Kum & Go currently operates more than 430 convenience stores in 11 states, primarily in the Midwest (Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming). The company offers E85 at more than 160 locations across its footprint and recently announced plans to make E15 available at more than 65 stores across seven states. Furthermore, the company says many of its stores offer premium biodiesel blends.
However, it is unclear whether this is the first of many CNG stations for Kum & Go.
“This CNG station is a pilot to test the viability of CNG at our stores,” explains Megan Elfers, a company spokesperson. “We will evaluate future expansion based on the results of this location as well as customer demand for CNG.”
It appears Ozark Regional Transit, a public transit authority serving northwest Arkansas, might be poised to take advantage of the Kum & Go CNG station.
According to a report from the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the agency has added four CNG shuttle buses to its fleet, and the Kum & Go station is located near the authority's headquarters in Springdale.
The agency, which will soon begin operating the new vehicles to provide paratransit services, used federal funding and another grant to help pay for the purchase. The report says the agency expects to realize major fuel-cost savings with the CNG buses.