As of 1 January 2020, all 64 of the buses traveling on Tartu’s urban lines are powered by renewable natural gas. Tartu is one of the few medium-sized cities in Europe where the city’s entire public transportation system has been converted to operate on renewable fuel. The adoption of biomethane-powered buses is supported by the Environmental Investment Centre with EUR 2.2 million from the European Union’s Cohesion Fund.
According to Tartu Deputy Mayor Raimond Tamm, Tartu’s big goal is to reduce the environmental impact resulting from transportation. “The adoption of biomethane allows us to take a major step forward in that direction. A clean, people-friendly and sustainable city environment has been Tartu’s priority for decades, as it is today and will continue to be in the future,” he commented.
The energy company Alexa supplies Tartu’s buses with bio-CNG at the region’s largest public natural gas station, located at Ringtee 25, in Tartu. “In terms of the environment, there is no better alternative to biomethane in the transport sector today. It is also made unique by the fact that it is produced locally in Estonia. In this way we are able to use the locally produced renewable fuel to reduce the volume of imported liquid fuels, keep jobs in Estonia, and support rural areas,” said Aivo Adamson, Chairman of the Management Board of AS Alexela.
The start of biomethane production is planned for this summer, in Ilmatsalu, with the majority of the plant’s output set to be consumed by Tartu’s urban buses. This is an excellent example of how the recycling of regional bio-waste allows for the development of environmentally friendly services in the same region and the creation of ‘green’ jobs.
Source: City of Tartu