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Energy Resources

UGI Fuels Manufacturing with Clean, Efficient Natural Gas

04 Oct 2022

When Bingaman & Son Lumber, Inc., a major supplier of hardwood in central Pennsylvania, and UGI began discussions about bringing natural gas to one of their facilities it initially seemed like a challenge. The facility was a couple thousand feet from UGI’s service and would require crossing a railroad right-of-way. But thanks to working closely together, and buttressed by Pennsylvania’s unique Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE), Bingaman and UGI made the project happen.

Bingaman is a hardwood supplier that harvests, manufactures, and distributes lumber products to industrial customers and distributors internationally. They have five Pennsylvania locations with their headquarters in Kreamer, the plant where Bingaman expressed interest in adding natural gas to their energy mix.

“The facility primary uses a wood biomass boiler, which in the winter months was often running at maximum capacity – the facility also had a secondary back-up wood biomass boiler that was undersized and out-of-date,” Tyler Shields, Bingaman’s Quality, Health, Safety, and Environment (QHSE) Director, explained. “We didn’t have the ability to grow.”

Looking to accommodate future growth and add fuel diversification to their energy mix, Bingaman worked with UGI’s Andy Rohrer to explore the feasibility of bringing natural gas to their Kreamer location. Rohrer and the UGI team ultimately were able to run a main extension of more than 2,000 feet to serve Bingaman.

UGI worked with the Susquehanna Industrial Development Corporation to secure a PIPE grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to help make the project economically feasible.

UGI and Bingaman entered into a long-term agreement to supply natural gas to the facility, and UGI began serving the plant in early March 2022. Bingaman now runs clean-burning natural gas in tandem with their wood biomass boiler.

Shields noted UGI maintained open communications throughout the
construction process and Bingaman appreciated the partnership forged
with the UGI team members who worked on the project. Rohrer credited
multiple UGI departments for working together, including operations, marketing, engineering, and legal.

In addition to increased capacity, Shields added that natural gas has provided a number of other benefits. Maintenance and monitoring is far less time consuming than the biomass boiler, and the environmental benefits are already clear.

“The ease with which you can permit a new natural gas boiler through DEP compared to wood biomass is a huge advantage,” Shields said. “The ongoing monitoring requirements are also much less arduous.”

Visit bingamanlumber.com to learn more about Bingaman and their commitment to sustainability.