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updated: 2/11/2014 7:14 PM

Mount Prospect welcomes clean energy facility

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The Mount Prospect business community is getting a little greener.

The village board recently granted Washington-based World CNG a permit to establish a compressed natural gas conversion facility in an industrial area at 1900-1980 Carboy Road.

The facility will occupy a 21,000-square-foot space where passenger vehicles and light duty trucks will be completely or partially converted to run on compressed natural gas instead of gasoline. The facility will operate from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Officials involved with the project said the conversion process is safe.

"The nice thing about compressed natural gas is if there is a release of it, it has a very high ignition temperature," said Michael Hartel, president of Designhaus Inc., which prepared the site plan.

Roger Buttacavoli, chief operating officer of World CNG, said most of the vehicles being converted will be new, either straight from the dealership or the factory.

The Mount Prospect location, he said, would replace an existing one in Chicago. Its appeal is its proximity to a clean energy fueling station.

Buttacavoli said the facility will not have more than a dozen cars inside the premises, with a maximum of 20 outside. He estimated that three vehicles per day would be processed.

"(Natural gas) is a cleaner burning fuel," Buttacavoli added. "It makes us less dependent on oil."

Village trustees were excited to have the company setting up shop in Mount Prospect. Trustee Paul Hoefert even suggested that maybe Mount Prospect could avail itself of the firm's service.

"I'm so happy you're going to do this in Mount Prospect because I know in the future, a lot of municipal vehicles will run on compressed natural gas," he said. "In Denver, where my son lives, all the buses in the city are all compressed natural gas."

Trustee A. John Korn asked several questions regarding storage of gasoline tanks removed from vehicles during the conversion process.

"Those tanks that you take off of there, they are more dangerous when they're empty with just fumes in them than they are when they are full of gas," he said.

"They can be, if they're not properly stored," Buttacavoli replied. "But we have placards identifying a no-smoking area, placards identifying hazardous materials."

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