Buses in Tartu will be powered by biomethane from the start of the year, making the city one of a handful in Europe where the public transport system has been converted to run entirely on renewable fuel.
Biomethane, or green gas, is produced from biogas. Biogas is the gas from fermentation processes, which is a common part of our living environment and is made up of mainly of methane and carbon dioxide.
Deputy Mayor of Tartu Raimond Tamm said the introduction of biomethane would make the city's public transport environmentally friendly.
"Tartu's big goal is to reduce the environmental impact of transport and the introduction of biomethane will allow us to take a big step in this direction. A clean, human-friendly, and sustainable urban environment has been a priority in Tartu for decades and will continue to be today," he said.
Tartu city buses are supplied by biomethane energy company Alexela at the largest public gas station in the region at Ringtee 25 in Tartu.
Chairman of the Management Board of AS Alexela Aivo Adamson said: "There is no better alternative to biomethane for the environment today in the transport sector. What makes biomethane special is that it is produced locally in Estonia. This way we can reduce the volume of imported liquid fuels, keep jobs in Estonia, and support rural areas."
This summer, biomethane production will be launched at Ilmatsalu and the products from this plant will be largely consumed by Tartu city buses.
Biomethane is more environmentally friendly and more stable in the long term than imported fuels, and its use helps to reduce pollutant emissions in the transport sector and also improves Estonia's energy security.
The introduction of biomethane in Tartu city buses is supported by the Environmental Investment Center from the European Union Cohesion Fund with approximately €2.2 million.
Editor: Helen Wright