Is a pump profitable

Paderborn Those who drive on natural gas no longer have a choice

"I've been driving a natural gas vehicle for 15 years. In my family there are four of them because natural gas is environmentally friendly and economical. But now we all have to make long detours to refuel," a reader complained to the NW. In fact, 15 years ago, numerous gas suppliers, including the Paderborner Stadtwerke as the predecessor of Eon Westfalen Weser, paid attractive subsidies for converting gasoline-powered vehicles to natural gas. But the filling station network remained thin, and the number of natural gas cars was low. At the end of December 2012 there were exactly 156 vehicles registered in the Paderborn district that can only run on natural gas; there are also 199 cars that run on natural gas or petrol. Instead, liquefied gas overtook natural gas: According to information from district spokeswoman Michaela Pitz, exactly 3,351 vehicles in the district run on fuel that is stored in tanks at filling stations - unlike natural gas that comes from the gas network and then via a compressor station reaches the pump.

After 16 years and numerous repairs, the petrol pump on Frankfurter Weg should either have been completely overhauled or replaced, says Eon spokeswoman Angelika Schomberg, explaining the company's move. Schomberg continues: "That would mean a six-figure investment. Even with the use of the latest technology, the fuel pump is not profitable to operate. If it were purely for environmental reasons, we would have liked to continue to operate it."

The Gütersloh company Fricke, lessor of the Avia station on Frankfurter Weg, claims to be looking for a new operator for the natural gas station at its filling station. However, this is difficult.

"If Eon can't earn anything with it, we certainly can't. After all, we would have to buy the natural gas first," says Matthias Dreisöner, Head of Gas Stations. If the search remains unsuccessful, Eon will have no choice but to dismantle the system. However, the existence of the old system and all permits speak in favor of a follow-up solution on site. Petrol station leaseholder Heribert Jone would also have been keen on that: "After all, the natural gas pump means between 600 and 700 customer contacts a month for us."

If you want to fill up with natural gas, you can do so in the Paderborn district, apart from at the Westfalen petrol station on Detmolder Straße in Paderborn, otherwise only at the Aral petrol station on Oststraße in Delbrück. Both natural gas stations belong to Eon Westfalen Weser. Drivers from the Büren area at least have the option of driving to the truck stop in Geseke.

There will then only be further natural gas stations in Steinheim, Höxter, Gütersloh, Holte-Stukenbrock Castle, Lemgo and Bielefeld.