This year Geneva Rock Products became the first ready-mix contractor to own and operate a natural gas filling station in the state of Utah. The filling station, housed at our 3900 South facility, provides compressed natural gas (CNG) for our fleet of CNG concrete mixer trucks. It is the first CNG station in the city of South Salt Lake.
The station can fill all 25 mixer trucks simultaneously. Trucks are slow-filled for ultimate compression over an eight-hour period each night. If a driver has a delivery schedule that requires an additional fill up during the day, the trucks can ‘fast-fill’ in as little as 10 minutes.
As vice president of equipment and facilities for Clyde Companies, Inc., I have led a team that has been busy working on evaluating alternative fueling options for Geneva Rock for the past three years. Last year, we purchased our first five CNG mixers to test the vehicles in comparison to the traditional diesel gas mixers that have filled our fleet since the 1950s. The CNG mixers were analyzed for cost, level of emissions, durability, user experience and travel capacity.
Our drivers were all eager to see how the CNG mixers would operate. Those who had the opportunity to switch to the new mixers were happy with the results and so were our customers.
Results of the emissions analysis show that CNG concrete mixers emit approximately half the fine particulate matter than their diesel engine counterparts. The 400-horsepower CNG mixers also generate 20 to 30 percent less carbon dioxide, 90 percent less carbon monoxide and 35 to 60 percent less nitrogen oxide.
Contractors and business partners are impressed with the environmental benefits of the trucks, as well as the performance of their quiet engines.
While the initial investment in the filling station is substantial, the environmental payoff and lower cost of natural gas make the new facility a win for the company, customers and the community.