Ozinga Energy placing it’s stamp on CNG fueling in Northern Illinois and Indiana

If you've spent a lot of time in the Chicago region or northern Indiana, chances are you've seen a red and white striped Ozinga ready-mixer. Increasingly you're going to see vehicles fueled by Ozinga Energy on area roadways as well as the family-owned company moves to expand its footprint in the CNG fueling space.

Ozinga built its first CNG fueling station at its Chicago headquarters after deciding in 2011 to transition its ready-mixer fleet to CNG. Today the company operates more than 110 CNG mixers, making the Ozinga the largest fleet operator of CNG concrete ready-mixers in North America and quite possibly, in the world.

As the number of CNG vehicles Ozinga operates has grown, so has the company's investment in the infrastructure needed to keep its trucks fueled. In addition to the Chicago station, Ozinga operates a CNG station in Mokena, along I-80 between Chicago and Joliet. A new Ozinga station is set to open in Gary, IN within the next couple of weeks with a fourth Ozinga station is opening near O'Hare airport in Des Plaines in late fall, all offering fueling to the public. But this is the tip of the iceberg. With plans to convert its entire fleet of 425 mixers and 75 support vehicles to CNG by 2020, Ozinga plans to install more stations and is well positioned to do so, as new stations will be located at Ozinga facilities in northern Illinois and Indiana, of which the company has 35. As Tim Ozinga, the company's director of communications notes, "being in the ready-mix business is as much about logistics as knowing the time is takes to cure a concrete pour." Ozinga's facilities are strategically located on key corridors at easily accessible sites prime for public access fueling, which, like at the existing stations, will be offered at all of the new stations the company opens.

Having mastered the learning curve, Ozinga found itself on the receiving end of phone calls from other fleet operators interested in converting their own fleets to natural gas. Surveying the landscape, the Ozinga's also concluded that the Chicagoland area was primed to become a CNG hotspot if an adequate fueling network could be developed. This led to the decision to launch Ozinga Energy, which opened for business this past spring. In addition to operating and marketing CNG at it's own branded stations, Ozinga Energy offers a full suite of turnkey CNG fueling solutions including consulting on fleet conversion and design, build and operation of both fast- and time fill CNG stations including stations utilizing Peake Fuel Solutions' CNG in A Box plug n play fueling modules. Although Tim Ozinga wouldn't say for whom, Ozinga Energy is building stations for two fleets and has bids out to others. If you're interested in learning more about Ozinga Energy, contact Tim Ozinga at timozinga@ozinga.com.

This article was first published by NGV Today.

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