The Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) and the National Petroleum Marketing Company (NP) have collaborated to help make the Priority Bus Route “greener” with the construction of a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) service station at the Corporation’s City Gate hub.
The sod-turning ceremony for the $30 million facility was held yesterday and is expected to be completed in six months.
PTSC chairman Dr Vincent Lasse said the Corporation will be transforming its fleet to CNG.
Cabinet has approved funding for the conversion of its current fleet and the procurement of 100 new CNG powered-buses, with a tender recently advertised for the first of 35 of these buses.
The current fleet runs on diesel.
Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine said the conversion will benefit the country in myriad ways, including reducing the fuel subsidy, increasing the foreign exchange trade with excess diesel now exported, as well as ensuring a cleaner environment, as natural gas is the cleanest burning hydrocarbon fuel.
He added that the PTSC’s use of CNG will also ensure citizens benefit directly from the country’s natural gas.
The total amount of natural gas needed to support the fleet daily is 14 million standard cubic feet of gas, less than one per cent of the country’s daily output. The cost of CNG is $1.07 per litre, 43 cents less than diesel per litre. The National Gas Company will supply the gas.
Ramnarine said the government will be leading the way with the CNG initiative, with state-owned NGC recently issuing a tender for 150 CNG-ready vehicles, adding he hoped other state enterprises would follow suit.
NP chairman Neil Gosine said the company at present has eight fuelling sites servicing about 3,500 vehicles, but has plans to introduce 40 fuelling sites in five years’ time to satisfy a market of 50,000 vehicles.