Paul Gianakas is carving a niche in the compressed natural gas fueling infrastructure for the average motorist and the small business operator.
Since 2008, Gianakas’s Eco Friendly LLC, based in Allison Park, has been installing fueling compressors for small businesses that use natural gas vehicles, as well as at residents’ private well sites.
A big part of the business involves installing a dryer at private well sites to make the gas dry enough to use in CNG vehicles.
“Western Pennsylvania has more shallow wells” than just about anywhere else, he said, noting about half of Eco Friendly’s business involves building natural gas desiccant dryers to make the gas usable as a dry gas fuel.
Gianakas, who is a co-owner in a construction company, also earlier worked as a production manager for Pittsburgh-based Mine Safety Appliances.
A self-described “car nut,” who enjoys working on all types of vehicles, he recently purchased a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado, which he plans to convert to a dual-fuel vehicle that can use either CNG or gasoline.
He said his collective experiences “kind of blended together” when he saw opportunity five years ago as exploration in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale strata began to pay off for oil and gas companies with big yields that keep growing by the year.
Gianakas sees the biggest opportunity for his business in northwestern Pennsylvania.
While acknowledging that companies like Clean Energy, which is building a massive cross-country CNG fueling infrastructure along the U.S. interstate system, Gianakas said his focus is on people who are beginning to use CNG vehicles in more rural areas where long stretches of highway offer little or no CNG fueling infrastructure.
Eco Friendly carries a line of home and commercial CNG fueling stations from several manufacturers, including Italy’s BRC Fuelmaker, one of the world’s leading designers and installers of power systems for CNG and liquid propane gas vehicles.
According to Eco Friendly’s Website, a Fuelmaker “Phill” home-fueling station starts at $6,500, including installation.
Gianakas said Eco Friendly also uses central Pennsylvania-based K.C. Larson Inc., a CNG and renewable energy contractor for installations of fueling equipment in that part of the state.
Next month, Eco Friendly will open a shop along Route 8 in northern Allegheny County to offer CNG vehicle conversion services.
According to Eco Friendly’s Website, using natural gas for transportation provides the following benefits:
• Helps to reduce dependence on foreign oil
• Money spent on natural gas fuel remains in the U.S.
• Natural gas burns cleaner than gasoline, offering a more environmentally friendly fuel choice.
For more information on Eco Friendly LLC, access the company’s website at www.ecofirendly.com or call 412-453-4153.