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Vekka Group rolls out six RNG-powered Scania buses in Hämeenlinna

Six new biomethane (aka renewable natural gas – RNG) powered buses will be introduced in public transport in Hämeenlinna, Finland. The new Vekka Group buses will help reduce the city’s public transport fossil emissions by almost 500 tonnes annually. The buses support the City of Hämeenlinna's objective of increasing the use of sustainable transport and alternative fuels.

Vekka Group is putting six new biomethane (aka renewable natural gas – RNG) powered Sania buses into public transport service in Hämeenlinna, Finland (photo courtesy Gasum).

The six new buses of Vekka Group Oy (Hämeenlinnan bussiliikenne) will start service in Hämeenlinna at the end of August 2020. Supplied by Scania Finland, the buses will operate in the city’s public transport services 1, 3, and 11, the contract for which was awarded to the Vekka Group in competitive tendering last year.

It’s great that we’re able to offer cleaner public transport for people in Hämeenlinna. As far as we know, we’re the first and only bus company using environmentally friendly fuel forms in the area. It’s important for us to take environmental considerations into account in our investments in the future, too, said Tomi Vasiljev, CEO of Vekka Group.

Low local emissions reduce urban pollution

Supplied by Scania Finland Oy, the new bioCNG buses now taken into service will travel over 500 000 km annually. Using compressed biomethane as fuel will help cut the city’s fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from public transport by almost 500 tonnes.

It’s been great to see in recent years how well the gas vehicles supplied by us have performed. All of our customers have been pleased with their purchases without any exceptions. Gas-powered vehicles have many superior characteristics that currently make them a highly viable option when considering the investment specifically from the environmental, lifecycle emissions, and overall economic perspectives. Gas vehicle technology is reliable, the vehicles are quiet and gas buses provide excellent passenger comfort in urban traffic, said Ilkka Korpela, Key Account Manager, Scania Finland.

Using gas vehicles enables compliance with the EU Clean Vehicles Directive in public transport. According to biogas producer and supplier Gasum Oy, the use of biomethane in transportation can help reduce fuel lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 90 percent.

In addition, biomethane usage generates only a fraction of local air emissions such as nitrogen oxide (NOx) and fine particulate matter (PM) emissions compared with conventional fuels.

Buses supporting City of Hämeenlinna strategy

Using biogas buses in Hämeenlinna public transport is an excellent match to the City of Hämeenlinna resource wisdom objective. The objective also includes increasing the use of sustainable transport and alternative fuels, which is also reflected in competitive tendering relating to public transport.

Demand for gas in the Hämeenlinna area has been increasing rapidly in recent years as regards passenger cars and heavy-duty vehicles alike. Gasum has responded to this demand by increasing the service capacity of Hämeenlinna’s Tiiriö filling station through the installation of a larger gas storage unit and an additional compressor.

It’s been a pleasure to cooperate with the Vekka Group, and it’s great to find that interest in gas-powered buses is clearly on the increase. Among the renewable fuels, biogas is one of the most economical options for public transport emission reductions, said Ville Sipponen, Sales Manager, Gasum.

Low-emission biogas is produced at Gasum biogas plants in accordance with circular-economy principles from biodegradable waste such as household biowaste, food waste from grocery stores, and municipal sewage sludge.

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