Chester County Natural Gas gets new truck

An in-house celebration was held this week for Chester County Natural Gas Authority as the company received its new construction truck which is dedicated solely to operating on natural gas. General Manager Mike Enoch said Burns Chevrolet of Rock Hill has “really stepped up” in converting vehicles capable of using natural gas.

“We’re trying to find something that makes sense for our community,” Enoch said. “Natural gas burns clean so if we can get more fleets involved, that’s good for the environment.”

Enoch is proud of the financial benefits this new vehicle will provide, he said. The price of natural gas for these vehicles is about $1.50 to $1.85 per gallon/unit versus the equivalent of regular gasoline. Burns Chevrolet Director Joe Gordon visited Chester Natural Gas Authority on Wednesday and presented the 2012 Chevrolet 2500 HD, extended cab white truck to Enoch. Gordon said the project has been in the works for several years.

“We looked at it about three years before we got into natural gas conversion vehicles,” he said. “We thought we would do a few here and there and we have about 20 currently scheduled and before we get the other tanks, we’ll have about another 20 scheduled.” Customer Care/Operations Manager Joey Neal has had conversations with city and county officials in addition to other local companies that employ fleets to help promote the use of natural gas vehicles throughout Chester County. “The main things to consider with natural gas is the cost, it’s environmentally friendly and it makes us less dependent on foreign oil,” Neal said.

The Chester County Natural Gas Authority also owns a Honda Civic that is 100 percent natural gas operated, Enoch said. There is an on-site slow-fill station that refuels this vehicle overnight, when needed. York County already has a fast-fill station for its fleet of natural gas vehicles. These fast-fill stations cost about $700,000 to construct. The use of natural gas vehicles and eventually having a natural gas fast-fill station in Chester would benefit the county using fleets of vehicles for various services, Enoch said. “If we can get more fleets on, that’s good for the environment,” he said. “It’s just the right thing to do.”