Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Tie That Binds Alternative Fuel Vehicles And A Commercial Laundry

Two small-business owners in North Miami, Fla., recently completed a plan that repurposed a commercial property on 119th St. in the city from a laundry facility and mini-mart to a state-of-the-art alternative fuel station.

Years ago, the laundry that Andrew Gold and business partner Abdul Razzak Khanani owned was operating on a propane-fired boiler. There were no spots nearby for consumers to buy propane, so the partners took advantage of the 1,000-gallon tank on site and began selling LPG on a retail basis. Norgetown Propane was born.

Fast-forward to today, and the mini-mart has been razed, and Norgetown's headquarters has evolved into the only public-access propane autogas station anywhere near Miami. Gold tells NGT News that providing fuel for propane vehicles is an immense opportunity for companies like his.

"It's a coming trend," he says. "We really see this as the future of the industry."

Last week, Norgetown welcomed the public and local dignitaries to a ribbon-cutting at the company's HQ. The site has undergone a complete facelift, courtesy of a 50/50 partnership between Norgetown and the North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency, which is focused on helping businesses improve their facilities and, in turn, attracting new commercial activity.

The above-ground 1,000-gallon propane tank at 1005 NW 119th St. is gone, replaced by a 2,000-gallon underground tank. That installation required "major pumps," Gold says, in order to get the gas out of the ground at the rate Norgetown wanted.

Ultimately, the company installed a 7.5 hp pump that yields 10 gallons of propane to the nozzle in 30 seconds. There are four autogas dispensers on site, and the facility is manned 24/7. Read more here.

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