Hutch’s will open Southwest Kansas’ first public access compressed natural gas fueling station Tuesday at its north Liberal location at 1580 N. Kansas. To commemorate the occasion, Hutch’s, together with Black Hills Energy and Sparq Natural Gas, will complete a “first-fill” celebration and provide comments and natural gas vehicle demonstrations and “ride and drive” opportunities beginning at 11 a.m. at the Hutch’s CNG site. Supporters are invited, and representatives from the City of Liberal and local businesses, along with the regional U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Coalition, will be on hand for the celebration. Beverages and snacks will be provided. Courtesy photo
• L&T staff report
Hutch’s will open Southwest Kansas’ first public access compressed natural gas fueling station Tuesday at the Hutch’s at 1580 N. Kansas Ave. in Liberal.
Offering convenience, accessibility and an attractive retail setting, the CNG station promises to be first of many more CNG developments in the area.
To commemorate the occasion, Hutch’s, together with Black Hills Energy and Sparq Natural Gas, will complete a “first-fill” celebration and provide comments and natural gas vehicle demonstrations and “ride and drive” opportunities beginning at the Hutch’s CNG site at 11 a.m.
Members of the regional U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Coalition, City of Liberal and local businesses invite supporters to join in the activities. Beverages and snacks will be provided.
“We are pleased at Hutch’s to join with Black Hills Energy and Sparq Natural Gas to add CNG fueling at our store at a time when increased interest for fuel alternatives is present across Southwest Kansas and areas experiencing oil and gas development,” said Hutch’s President David Hutchinson in a press release from Sparq Natural Gas. “Every day, more companies are becoming aware of the opportunities to fuel their fleets on CNG.”
Hutchinson said his company is seeing commercial and retail interest and questions on CNG continuing to rise.
“We want to meet the needs of our loyal customer base by offering a variety of fueling options, which will lead our work in Liberal, and look to expand across our station footprint,” he said. “Additionally, and more importantly, by supporting CNG, our company recognizes we are also helping sustain Kansas’ oil and gas industry.”
Sparq CEO Norman Herrera said Hutch’s is a community partner with his company and a trustable and dependable leader in the communities in which they operate with a growing expansion across the region.
“Like us, they are entrepreneurial and have a significant interest in offering new and diverse fueling options that support Kansas businesses and the state’s economy,” Herrera said. “On the eve of the nation’s independence, we are pleased to join in the celebration of offering a clean, abundant, affordable Kansas fuel.”
Black Hills’ general manager in Kansas, Todd Jacobs, said that company believes CNG has tremendous value as a transportation fuel and will play a significant role in the Kansas economy as the number of vehicles on the road grows.
“That’s why we’re making the investment to integrate natural gas vehicles into our own fleet, and we’re committed to working with our communities and customers to bring natural gas fueling opportunities to fruition,” Jacobs said.
Hutchinson said he sees a bright future for natural gas as a transportation fuel in America.
“Energy production and development is a key part of the Southwest Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle regional economy and a strong oil and gas market serves to create tens of thousands of new, good-paying jobs across our country,” Hutchinson said. “Natural gas vehicles represent a practical and tangible utilization of our region’s native resource and helps keep Kansas money in Kansas.”