PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Gas stations are easy to find to fill up your car or truck, but public places to refuel vehicles that run on compressed natural gas — or CNG — are often hard to locate.

An EQT station in the Strip District is the only one in Pittsburgh, but that is about to change.

“This is an energy center. It is not a gas station,” Jennifer Pomerantz, CEO of American Natural, said Tuesday morning.

Her company called American Natural will open next Thursday, July 25, the region’s first multi-purpose energy center near Station Square where customers of all kinds of vehicles can get refueled.

“We are featuring CNG, gasoline and diesel for transportation fuel, and also in our eatery we are featuring barista coffee as well as signature-prepared sandwiches,” adds Pomerantz.

Offering compressed natural gas — right along with regular gasoline — is key, as more vehicle owners consider the cheaper, environmentally-friendly use of CNG.

Natural gas flows into this building on the site where it is compressed into CNG and then flows underground to a pump and ultimately to your CNG vehicle.

What is spurring CNG development is the price, says Pomerantz.

“The price at this station will be retailed at starting at under $2 a gasoline gallon equivalent,” Pomerantz said.

And as higher oil prices convince more to convert to CNG, energy centers like this one will become more common, says T. Boone Pickens, the energy developer.

“The natural gas highway has been put in place now on the interstates, and you can — is it everywhere, no — but you’ve got it in place where you can drive across the United States,” adds Pickens.

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