Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — HCM City might not achieve its target of buying more than 800 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses by the end of the year, according to the Public Transport Management and Operation Centre.
Trần Chí Trung, director of the centre, said the city has 2,575 operating public buses, most of which have been operating for more than 10 years.
Under a project to replace the old buses between 2014 and 2017, the city asked the centre to seek investors for 1,680 new buses.
The centre has replaced only 839 buses, or 50 per cent of the target, of which there are 256 CNG-fueled buses, accounting for 12 per cent of the new buses, while the other buses use diesel fuel.
Trung said the centre should buy more than 800 new CNG buses by the year-end under a new city regulation that requires all new buses use CNG beginning this year.
He said the target was difficult to achieve as the cost of buying CNG buses was 33 per cent higher than diesel-fueled buses.
In addition, the supply and price of CNG is now heavily dependent on PV Gas South Company.
Construction of CNG stations is costly as they require more space, he said, adding that the Petrol Group is researching this problem to propose solutions.
CNG buses, however, bring economic and environmental benefits, including savings of 23 per cent of energy compared to buses using diesel.
Total emissions from CNG buses in HCM City have fallen by nearly 14,000 tonnes per year compared to buses that use diesel.
Trương Trung Kiên, head of the Urban Department under HCM City’s Council, has asked the centre to continue to conduct research on the use of CNG buses in the future.
While waiting for assistance from the city government, the centre needs to encourage residents to use public buses and limit the use of private vehicles to reduce traffic congestion, he said.
CNG is methane stored at a high pressure. It is used in place of petrol, diesel fuel and propane, and emits less environmentally unhealthy gases than the other three.
CNG buses operate on Route 33, which connects university campuses in Thủ Đức District and An Sương Terminal in the outlying district of Hóc Môn. — VNS