CLEARFIELD – Two Pennsylvania-based companies have partnered to make a huge difference in fueling Pennsylvania’s economy, literally.
Pennsylvania Grain Processing Corn Merchandiser, Brian Kelly, was a little doubtful four years ago when he first approached Sheetz Inc. about selling new blends of ethanol at its fuel station near Interstate 80 in Clearfield.
“Truthfully, I didn’t think we would get too much of a response. I thought they would have to install new tanks and change things around,” Kelly said.
What Kelly didn’t know was that many of the newer Sheetz stations were engineered to be easily converted with the addition of a new pump, and the forward-thinking company was willing to move ahead with higher ethanol blends.
The two Pennsylvania-based companies have worked together to better serve their customers in the Keystone State.
Today, Sheetz is PGP’s largest customer and helps provide a stable demand for local farmers to provide a steady fleet of corn to the grain processing plant.
And, Sheetz tankers are rolling through the Clearfield plant daily, loading ethanol to be blended with gasoline for distribution throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland.
“Sheetz is recognized as a proactive leader to increase the U.S. consumer’s access to higher blends of ethanol fuels. We are proud to be a part of the success,” said Joe Sheetz, president and chief executive officer of Sheetz Inc.
“As we install additional locations that pump these fuel blends, our consumers will benefit from lower fuel prices and reduced carbon emissions.”
In total, 97 percent of the gasoline sold in the United States contains 10 percent ethanol. In 2006, Sheetz introduced E85, which is made of 85 percent ethanol, at number of stores.
Later, in 2015, another fuel option was added, Unleaded15 (E15), made up of up to 15 percent ethanol. Unleaded 15 is currently available at Sheetz locations across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina, with 185 stores expected to have the fuel available by this June.
Many Sheetz locations in Pennsylvania offer blends created from ethanol produced at PGP.
Kelly said, “Approximately 15 million bushels of local, Pennsylvania corn is converted into ethanol and distiller’s grains at PGP each year.”
The ethanol serves flex fuel alternatives while the grains, corn oil and CO2 produced at the plant are used to serve agricultural and food-related industries.
“The partnership between PGP and Sheetz provides a Pennsylvania-made product available for a large number of Sheetz customers across Pennsylvania, while providing farmers in our region a dependable market for their corn and countless jobs for many Pennsylvanians,” said Rob Swales, chief executive officer of Clearly Ahead Development.
“We are proud of this successful and growing relationship of our local farmers, manufacturers and businesses in Clearfield County and central Pennsylvania.”