In the coming years, bus fleet emissions in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area will be significantly reduced as buses start to run on new generation bio-fuel. The aim of the three-year trial project of HKL, YTV, Proventia and Neste Oil is that in 2010 half of the buses operated in the Area will use NExBTL, a bio-diesel developed by Neste Oil and produced from renewable raw materials.
NExBTL produces significantly less particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions than traditional diesel. In the tests made, nitrogen oxide emissions were reduced by 15% and particulates by 30% with a 100% NExBTL blend compared to the diesel fuel currently used in buses. This renewable bio-fuel also cuts by 50% the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) generated during the life cycle of the fuel compared to fossil diesel fuel. NExBTL diesel can be used either as such or mixed with regular diesel.
The trial begins with 60 buses running on a 25% NExBTL blend with a view to reach 100% next spring. In the early stage two bus operators, Pohjolan Kaupunkiliikenne and Veolia Transport,
participate in the project.
In addition to the bio-fuel, new kind of continuously operating exhaust gas purifiers are tested in some of the buses. The purifiers are manufactured by Proventia Emission Control which specializes in exhaust gas purification systems.
The trial project supports the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Climate Strategy, which aims at cutting traffic-related GHG emissions by one fifth by 2030.
HKL, YTV and Neste Oil have shared the responsibility and the costs for the project. Application for government funding has been made to relieve operators from additional cost due to bio-fuels.
During 2008, the trial project should enlarge and qualify for an EU project. As matters stand 20 cooperation partners from energy,transport and automotive industries from Austria, France, Sweden and Germany will join. The EU project aims at promoting the use of bio-fuels via extensive product development cooperation.