Natural gas utility South Jersey Gas is partnering with Wawa Inc., one of the largest convenience store and retail fueling chains in the Mid-Atlantic region, to begin introducing compressed natural gas (CNG) to the Wawa network.
‘It's a natural extension of the growth within our CNG business line,’ says Jeffrey E. DuBois, president of South Jersey Gas. ‘This initiative will build greater faith among the general public in natural gas as a reliable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly transportation fuel source. The market for customers to make the switch to CNG, particularly fleet vehicles, is plentiful.’
The companies' first CNG capacity will come online by early 2015 at a location in Logan Township, N.J. This Wawa site is in the southern part of the state, off exit 10 of Route 295.
‘Compressed natural gas provides an opportunity to increase the value of our fuel and convenience offer to the customer, and positions us for the future,’ says Brian Schaller, vice president of fuel for Wawa. ‘We are excited about the growth potential of this alternative fuel.’
This is the first partnership in the region between a c-store operator and natural gas utility for CNG fuel. The potential addressable market for Wawa, overall, is large: almost 650 convenience stores in six states, with more than 350 of them already offering traditional retail fueling. For its part, South Jersey Gas already has two of its own CNG stations online, with an additional pair planned for Lindenwold and Woodbine.
In terms of next steps for the Wawa/South Jersey Gas, the companies say ‘other locations are being considered.’