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October 18, 2005 - Public Natural Gas Vehicle Refuelling Station Officially Opens in Swift Current

October 18, 2005

Public Natural Gas Vehicle Refuelling Station
Officially Opens in Swift Current

Businesses and individuals in the Swift Current area looking to save money and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions received some good news today when SaskEnergy officially opened its public Natural Gas Vehicle Refuelling Station in the city.

The station, which is located at the Highway Husky Car/Truck Stop at 1510 South Service Road West, has been serving SaskEnergy/TransGas Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) in the Swift Current area since November 2004. Originally constructed to meet the immediate local needs of SaskEnergy/TransGas fleet vehicles, it was recently expanded to accommodate increased demand when the Corporation converted more of its vehicles to natural gas for environmental and economic reasons. With its newly expanded compressor and storage capacity, the station can now serve more SaskEnergy/TransGas NGVs than before, as well as NGVs operated by other organizations or members of the public.

"This NGV refuelling station may be the answer for Swift Current fleet vehicle owners who would like to use a clean-burning and economical fuel," said Dean Reeve, Executive Vice President of SaskEnergy. "Over the past year, it has generated cost and emissions savings for SaskEnergy/TransGas, and now that it is open to the public, the potential is there for others to realize these benefits as well."

In the past month, the Salvation Army in Swift Current became the first member of the public to begin using the facility.

"We recently acquired a dual-fuel gasoline/natural gas-powered bus, and we are able to operate it as efficiently as possible because of the SaskEnergy NGV refuelling station," explained Captain Paul Loner of the Swift Current Salvation Army. "In the Swift Current area, we are able to run the bus exclusively on natural gas and cut our fuel costs approximately in half. And when we take it on longer road trips, using natural gas for part of the time cuts down on our gasoline use, saving us money and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions."

The Swift Current NGV refuelling station is SaskEnergy's seventh in the province, joining existing ones in North Battleford, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Yorkton and Moose Jaw. It can serve one vehicle at a time, with a filling time of approximately five minutes. Service is available 24 hours a day through a cardlock system.

NGVs are a viable and environmentally friendly option for businesses operating fleets that return to a central fuelling point daily. They reduce smog-causing emissions by half and cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 20 per cent compared to traditional gas- and diesel-burning vehicles. A variety of vehicles in the province such as school buses, street sweepers, trucks and ice resurfacers already use natural gas. Nearly half of the SaskEnergy/TransGas fleet of vehicles currently operates on natural gas.

NGVs are also less expensive to operate than vehicles that run on either gasoline or diesel. The Swift Current NGV refuelling station will begin selling an equivalent litre of compressed natural gas at 48.9 cents. If SaskEnergy's proposed commodity rate increase is approved, the price of an equivalent litre of natural gas at the station would rise to only 63.9 cents. This is approximately two-thirds the cost of a litre of gasoline, representing substantial long-term savings for NGV owners.

For more information, please contact:

Stephen King
Communications Officer
Phone: (306) 777-9763 (office) or (306) 535-5941 (cell)