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Kwik Trip offers class in Duluth on compressed natural gas

Kwik Trip is opening about 15 convenience stores in the Twin Ports area in the next 1½ years. And one of them — at 3027 E. Second St. in Superior, opening in September — will offer CNG, a green alternative fuel.

CNG is short for compressed natural gas. It’s drilled from natural gas wells and in conjunction with crude oil production. While few stations offer it, CNG costs consumers half of what gasoline and diesel fuel does and releases 90 percent fewer emissions. It is used by some heavy trucks, semis, vans and a few cars that are designed to use the fuel.

“The gas is cheaper, just $1.99 a gallon, but very expensive to put in,” said Jeff Reichling, Kwik Trip’s Duluth territory manager.

To help educate truck companies, fleet operators and the general public on the use of compressed natural gas as a fuel, Kwik Trip will hold a free three-hour seminar Thursday morning at The Inn on Lake Superior in Duluth’s Canal Park.

Based in La Crosse, Wis., the Kwik Trip chain has more than 400 stores in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. The new Superior station — which also will offer diesel fuel as well as CNG at a separate heavy-duty island — will be one of 25 Kwik Trip locations in its region with CNG dispensers.

Kwik Trip uses CNG in its own vehicles. The company owns and operates 90 natural gas vehicles including light-duty vehicles and heavy-duty semi-trucks that deliver its fresh foods daily to its many stores, said Joel Hirschboeck, the company’s commercial fuels superintendent.

“Through our own anchor fleet, we can test, promote and educate Kwik Trip consumers about the benefits of natural gas as a vehicle fuel,” he said in a prepared statement.

Thursday’s seminar, which includes lunch, will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information or to sign up, call (855) 710-3800 or email