As of 1 January 2020, all buses in the Estonian city of Tartu will run on biomethane. Tartu is one of the few medium-sized cities in Europe where the city’s entire public transport system has been converted to run on renewable fuel.
Energy company Alexela supplies Tartu’s urban buses with biomethane via the region’s largest public gas filling station in the city of Tartu. The project was supported by the Environmental Investment Centre with €2.2 million from the European Union’s Cohesion Fund.
According to the city’s deputy mayor Raimond Tamm, Tartu’s big goal is to reduce the environmental impact resulting from transport. He said: “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.”
“In terms of the environment, there is no better alternative to biomethane in the transport sector today,” said Aivo Adamson, chairman of the management board of AS Alexela. “Biomethane 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.”
Biomethane production is planned for summer 2020 in Ilmatsalu, with the majority of the plant’s output expected to be used by Tartu’s urban buses.