Dover, Delaware — Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE:CPK) (“Chesapeake”) and Sharp Energy, Inc., its wholly-owned subsidiary, are pleased to announce the groundbreaking for the new Sharp Energy headquarters building and AutoGas fueling station in Georgetown, Delaware. The groundbreaking ceremony was held September 3, 2015 on the construction site at 22945 East Piney Grove Road, Georgetown, Delaware. The event was hosted by Chesapeake and Sharp Energy and attended by state, local and company officials.
The new 18,000-square-foot building will provide a convenient, central location for both customers and employees and consolidate Sharp Energy’s operations. With the construction of this new modern facility, Sharp Energy will be able to house its retail and supply functions in one location, increase its storage capacity and create a centralized public dispensing center for AutoGas. In addition, 20 positions will be moving to the new facility almost doubling the existing number of employees based in Georgetown.
Sharp Energy’s new headquarters site will also be the future location for the sixth AutoGas fueling station on Delmarva supporting the Company’s environmental initiatives in supplying clean burning propane to fuel the rapidly growing number of fleet vehicles in the area that now run on this clean-burning alternative fuel. AutoGas-powered vehicles produce lower emissions than gasoline vehicles and offer substantial cost savings on fuel and maintenance. AutoGas has a higher octane rating and burns cleaner than gasoline allowing AutoGas powered vehicles to experience less frequent oil changes, increased engine life and lowered associated vehicle downtime in addition to substantial savings on fuel. Almost all propane is produced here in the United States helping to reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil. Since 2010, our region’s propane production has gone from 2,000,000 gallons a day to 8,000,000 gallons per day. In fact, billions of dollars are spent annually to expand the propane infrastructure throughout the country.
“Our Company’s anticipated future growth in both staff and services has led us to build and improve our facilities so that we may continue to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of our Delmarva energy customers and their communities,” said Michael P. McMasters, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. “We have experienced a significant amount of growth in the past few years and project that to continue. This new location will aid that growth.”
“The new headquarters building will be a state-of-the-art facility that will meet the needs of our employees and our customers for many years to come,” said S. Robert Zola, President of Sharp Energy.
Sharp Energy’s new facility was designed to meet the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s new sediment and storm water regulations, which were effective on January 1, 2014. Delaware’s new sediment and storm water regulations changed from peak-based to volume-based management in consideration of the potential impacts to the specific watershed. To comply with the new regulations, the site’s design incorporates green technology best management practices (GTBMPs) that consist of grassed channels, bio-swales, and filter strips. These GTBMPs clean the runoff through filtration and reduce the amount of rainfall leaving the site.
The $6 million headquarters building is located on 12 acres of land and will house 40 employees. The anticipated completion date is spring 2016 and the project is anticipated to create up to 70 construction jobs.
ABOUT THE COMPANIES
Soon to be based in Georgetown, Delaware, Sharp Energy distributes propane to approximately 37,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Pennsylvania. With four rail facilities and over 2,000,000 gallons of propane storage, Sharp Energy has established a solid supply portfolio. SharpCGS specializes in the design and operation of innovative propane distribution systems for the home and for communities. Sharp has been providing reliable, dependable gas service on the Delmarva Peninsula and beyond for more than 25 years and has built regulated gas distribution systems for more than 15 years. Sharp Energy is a proud partner of Alliance AutoGas, a national network of companies that have joined together to deliver a comprehensive alternative fueling solution including EPA-certified propane AutoGas vehicle conversions, on-site fueling infrastructure, fuel supply, safety and operational training, and ongoing technical support. Austin Cox Home Services, Inc. has been serving the Delmarva community for over 60 years. Throughout this time, the company has built a strong reputation for excellent and courteous service in providing expertise in plumbing, electrical, heating and central air conditioning services. To learn more about Sharp Energy and the Sharp family of businesses, visit www.sharpenergy.com.
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a diversified energy company engaged in natural gas distribution, transmission, gathering and processing, and marketing; electricity distribution; propane gas distribution and wholesale marketing; and other businesses. In total, the Company currently serves approximately 226,000 customers with natural gas, propane or electricity. Information about Chesapeake Utilities Corporation and the Chesapeake family of businesses is available at www.chpk.com.
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