Nation Valley News
WINCHESTER — The growing popularity of propane as a rural heating fuel has put more supply on the ground in North Dundas — with the arrival of a 140,000-litre storage tank at a local company’s new depot.
That’s enough for about five days’ worth of deliveries to Guy Fuels & Propane customers during the busy winter heating period, says company co-owner Chris Guy, on hand for the arrival and installation of the 78,000-lb steel tank at the firm’s new propane bulk-filling station on Jan. 27.
The huge tank will be regularly refilled by wholesalers’ incoming transport trucks, explains Guy. The continual extra cache of propane — just up the road from the company’s Dawley Drive headquarters — will free up their own tanker delivery trucks to serve more customers through the day, increasing the operation’s throughput and efficiency.
Up until now, Guy Fuels & Propane has had to send its single-axle trucks on regular daily excursions to St. Isidore and Perth for refilling.
“It’s an extra couple hours a day that we can be on the road now delivering propane,” Guy says, conceding he originally “couldn’t have imagined” the 30-year-old company would have its own filling station so soon after adding propane to their inventory.
They made the leap into propane six years ago amid soaring prices for oil as well as higher insurance costs for consumers heating with oil. While they continue to sell and deliver fuel oil, he says that propane is gaining popularity and gradually displacing the other commodity.
Under development since last fall, the bulk filling station was not inspired by the great propane shortage of the winter of 2013-14, though Guy concedes that situation “opened his eyes” to the importance of propane supply. “It was a shot to the system,” he offers. “I learned a lot in a short time.”
Because Guy Fuels & Propane was still so new to the propane game when the shortage hit, they had relatively few customers to manage at that time. For a two-week period, at the worst point in the regional crisis, they made regular, smaller deliveries of 200 litres to customers, he says, keeping everyone up and running. “We made it work.”
Manufactured by Pro-Par of Sherbrooke, Que., the new tank will go into service once the station — located in a fenced-in area off County Rd. 31, just north of Winchester — is finished in about a month’s time.
Stirling Engineering is overseeing the project. The completed station will be regularly inspected by the Technical Standards & Safety Authority.
Chris Guy and his wife, Martine Thurler-Guy, run Guy Fuels & Propane — founded by his parents, Don and Rita Guy, in 1986.
Spotlight – Snowmobile Safety Week
Click on many of the above business cards to learn more about these community-minded enterprises and organizations.