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Station selling strong ethanol
Clydes 62 paves way for lower fuels costs in Hinesville, coastal Georgia


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A possible reprieve from rising cost of gas opened to the public today as the first ethanol E85 fuel pump in Hinesville was placed in service after a brief ceremony and ribbon cutting Thursday morning at the Clyde’s # 62 gas station at 791 E. G. Miles Parkway.
It is the first pump in our immediate area and only the second ethanol 85 fuel pump south of Macon, according to Clyde’s # 62 co-owners Mac and Greg Woolard.
“In 2003 there were only 200 E85 pumps in the country,” Mac Woolard said. “And now there are over 100,000. We wanted to be in the forefront of the E85 business and brought the industry into the Hinesville area.”
According to the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, Georgia has only 18 Ethanol E85 pumps listed. The one in Hinesville has yet to be added to their Web site list and Mac Woolard said more are being constructed and brought into the state.
His brother Greg said it was about giving the customers another option to consider when looking for fuel and fuel alternatives.
“Most people don’t know because they don’t have the option,” he said. “Now that we are offering an option that costs less they will check to see if their cars can run on it and they will begin to learn about the fuel and their alternatives.”
Ethanol E85 is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Unlike the 10 percent of ethanol that is currently being blended with regular fuels and can be used in every vehicle built after 1980, E85 can only be used in flexible fuel vehicles.
Most FFVs have a decal or metal identification plate on the back saying they are flex fuel ready vehicles. A flex fuel ready vehicle will also have a yellow gas cap stamped with the E85 logo. To determine if your vehicle is a FFV, check the owner’s manual, the gas cap or go online to the National Ethanol Vehicle website at
If your vehicle is not a flex fuel ready vehicle your wait for a low cost fuel option is just along the horizon.
“At this time there are many companies producing flex fuel converter kits,” Demere NeSmith, General Manager of NeSmith Chevrolet GMC in Claxton and a partner in NeSmith Chevrolet in Hinesville, NeSmith Walker in Jesup and NeSmith pre-owned certified in Statesboro, said. “However, they have not been approved yet by the EPA. According to the industry the conversion kits will become available in the near future.”
NeSmith said the price range for installing a conversion kit would probably run between $550-700 installed. He said he hopes the NeSmith family will be the first in the area to offer the conversion kits for the consumers who decide they want to convert their vehicles.
“According to General Motors they have over 2 million FFVs cars and SUV already on the road in North America,” NeSmith said. “More are being manufactured every day. GM is at the forefront of revolutionizing America’s dependency on foreign oil. And we are the first dealership in the area that is filling up every new E85 flex fuel ready vehicle they sell at Clyde’s # 62.”
Reducing America’s dependency on foreign oil and increasing the American farmers earnings are the leading driver’s in the production of Ethanol fuel. Another is the reduction of emission gases.
“If Ethanol is handled correctly it could be a big benefit for everybody,” Mac Woolard said. “Politicians actually created the Ethanol business with mandates and if they stay involved in the process it will help rural areas and everyone involved in the farming and Ethanol business.”
Charise Stephens, Clean Cities Director for the Georgia Clean Cities Coalition agrees.
“We are going to be supporting some renewable energy production,” she said. “Today is a momentous day personally. I’ve been with the Georgia Clean Cities Coalition since 2003 and it has taken a long time to get this done. It takes a lot of leg work, vehicles, planning stations and production to get this on line. Today is a day that is actually going to be a catalyst for other stations coming into the region. And if you heard the news, we are not only going to be making Ethanol out of corn we are going to be making it out of trees, waste, beer and cola products as well. That gives us a variety of feed stock, especially here in Georgia.”
The news Stephens is referring to is the ground breaking of the new Ethanol production plant in Soperton. She said they should be producing Ethanol by the summer of 2009.
“There are two different technologies that are currently available to produce Ethanol,” she said. “There is thermal and the other is an enzyme process.”
Stephens explained the enzyme process takes longer because it can’t differentiate between the different types of trees but the Soperton plant will be using the thermal process thereby making it quicker and easier to produce the fuel.
Many believe that the production of Ethanol is increasing the price of our food products, especially corn, but Stephens feels that assessment is not correct.
“The reason our food prices are high is because of the high price of regular fuel and the need to deliver our foods through transportation,” she said. “I’m a mother and I would not do anything or commit my self to something that was actually making children go hungry. But nothing in life is perfect and right now we see the gas prices going up to $4 a gallon which people think is shocking. But we have the experts saying it could hit $7 per gallon. And with people working on minimum wage, barely making ends meet, we have to do something now.”
Stephens said that Georgia has the capability to produce several different types of feed stock offering plenty of possibilities for Ethanol production.
“We have the capability in Georgia to plant Bio-fuels that are cleaner burning fuels,” she added. “It allows you to quantify numbers in cities that were classified with air quality problems and produce measurable numbers on how much emissions were reduced therefore making it very environmentally friendly as well as affordable.”
As for future stations in the area, plans are in the works.
“We are already talking to a few more station owners in the area and hopefully we can continue to come back,” she said. “By the summer we hope to have a few more stations open to the public.”

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