Thanks to a three-year investment plan, SETA (Società Emiliana Trasporti Autofiloviari) is implementing a substantial renewal of the fleet and the support infrastructure in order to offer a more efficient, sustainable public transport service to users. For this, the company has acquired new natural gas buses and opened a new service station to supply them at its depot in Piacenza. The facility was built by HAM Italy and involved an investment of 1.4 million euros, entirely supported by the Municipality of Piacenza with PSNMS (National Strategic Sustainable Mobility Plan) resources.
The new station can supply both CNG and LNG, and will help reduce fuel purchase costs and speed up vehicle refueling times, thus making the use of low environmental impact buses increasingly convenient and widespread. SETA has purchased both CNG city buses and LNG extra-urban buses, ready to enter service in the city and provincial public transport lines of Piacenza. Furthermore, the facility is also enabled to supply biomethane, of which SETA is expecting ever-increasing use: in 2024 the company will cover approximately 25% of its total natural gas requirement with this fuel.
The Piacenza station features a special cryogenic tank, about 14 meters high and with a storage capacity of over 100,000 liters of fuel. The natural gas is stored in the tank in liquid form, at a temperature of about -150 degrees, and reaches the distribution columns following two possible routes: if destined for the CNG urban buses, the fuel is sent to a compression and regasification plant, which it feeds four dispensers (three with high flow rate for buses and one at standard pressure for service and passenger vehicles). For regional buses running on LNG, the fuel arrives directly at the two high-flow dispensers. Overall, the site is capable of delivering over 7,500 cubic meters of gas per hour.
The SCANIA Irizar i4 LNG buses meet Euro 6 standard, have a total of 71 places (49 seated and 22 standing). In addition to guaranteeing a level of polluting emissions below the sector average, LNG fueling makes them particularly suitable for service on extra-urban lines as they have an operating range of over 800 kilometers.
The new Euro 6 12-meter MAN Lion’s City buses, fueled by CNG, feature a Mild Hybrid system with an electric motor that integrates and supports the performance of the internal combustion engine. The electric motor is powered by zero environmental impact energy, generated during the deceleration phase of the vehicle and stored in special batteries. The Mild Hybrid technology guarantees a significant reduction in fuel consumption and a simultaneous reduction in atmospheric emissions. The MAN Lion’s City can accommodate up to 93 passengers, including 25 seated.