Appalachian Basin

Smith Dairy Adds Themselves to Growing List of CNG Fleets

Back in April, Smith Dairy announced they would convert their entire fleet of large diesel power trucks to run on compressed natural gas, also known as CNG.  The company broke ground on a $1.5 million fueling station at their headquarters in Orrville.  Earlier this week, Smith Dairy cut the ribbon on their exciting new fuel station and unveiled six CNG-powered delivery trucks.  The ribbon-cutting made Ohio media outlets, attracted other businesses with CNG vehicles, and brought out representatives from Governor Kasich’s office to take part.

The new pumps will not only benefit Smith Dairy, but also the public.  The transition to natural gas will help the company save money on fuel and contribute to better air quality.  By 2030, Smith Dairy expects to switch all of its vehicles to natural gas.  At the groundbreaking in April, Energy in Depth – Ohio was able to catch some statements from Smith Dairy President Steve Schmid:

It’s a way to be good to the environment, it’s a much cleaner fuel when burned—Steve Schmid (:30)

Representatives from Governor Kasich’s office attended the ribbon cutting to help in their attempt to research ways more of Ohio can start using CNG.  The obvious obstacle is infrastructure, considering CNG fueling stations are not yet in every part of the state.  But that’s changing.

Smith Dairy isn’t the only company to make the switch to natural gas. Starting next year, TravelCenters of America LLC reported in June that they hope to add at least 200 CNG fuel pumps at its truck stops across the nation through a partnership with Shell Oil Co.  In April, Frito-Lay announced it would add 67 trucks that would run on CNG to its fleet.  Other national companies making the switch include Sunny Delight and AT&T.  More locally, the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority has set plans to switch their vehicles to natural gas.

Smith Dairy’s switch to CNG also helped a Ohio company by using compressors from Ariel Corp out of Mount Vernon.  Ariel Corp created a video depicting the amazing the transformation Smith Dairy is making and the benefits of CNG that can be seen here. Both companies are just a few that have benefited from Ohio’s shale development.  As more natural gas becomes available and prices stay low, more companies will have lower energy costs and be able to create jobs for Ohioans, all while contributing to a better environment.

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