The southern province of Dong Nai has pledged support for a project to develop a bus network using vehicles powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and build CNG filling stations.

The Sonadezi Transport Joint Stock Company proposed the project at a meeting on May 27 between the provincial People’s Committee and relevant agencies on the development of public transport systems using CNG bus.

A CNG bus emits about 20 percent less carbon dioxide than a fossil fuel-powered bus. Fuel costs for CNG buses is 30-40 percent less than a bus running on fossil fuels.

Sonadezi said it plans to purchase 162 buses and build two CNG filling stations this year. During the next five years, the company will buy 393 more coaches and build five more CNG filling stations. Total investment for the project is estimated at 630 billion VND (29.3 million USD).

It is asking the province to provide land for the filling stations as well as access to preferential credit and import tax exemption for vehicles and equipment used by the project.

In the past few years, local demand for public transport has increased significantly together with the expansion of industrial parks. It is estimated that over 22 million people use public transportation this year and the figure is expected to reach 32 million by 2020.

At the meeting, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Vinh affirmed that the province will facilitate the project as it is in line with the province’s policy of switching to environmentally friendly vehicles for public transport services.-VNA