The Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) has revealed that buses forming part of the Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit (BRT) project will have their engines run on natural gas. This is in an effort to save on operational costs and to reduce carbon emissions.
An official from the corporation said this will apply to the buses that will be deployed in the next phases as the ones currently operating couldn’t use natural gas due to some technicalities, reports Tanzania Daily News.
Ismail Naleja of the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation said: "Plans were to use natural gas for buses currently operating in the first phase of the BRT, but this was not possible due to some technicalities."
When asked about the possibility of converting the operating systems of buses currently plying in the BRT as their engines are diesel-run, Naleja argued that would not be possible.
He explained: "It could have been possible to modify the operating systems if the motor vehicles were using petrol. Diesel-run engines are not compatible with systems used in natural gas."
It is reported that currently, there are 60 motor vehicles in the country, which have had their engines modified to use petrol and natural gas, but the official was positive that the number will significantly increase when the BRT buses start using natural gas in the next phases of the project.
Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation – pushing for low CO2 footprint
The TPDC’s initiative is in line with that of reducing global carbon emissions footprint agreed upon during the COP21 held in Paris last year.
Naleja appealed to the citizens to transform their vehicles into using gas, which he said is abundantly available in the country as it was cheaper compared to petroleum products. He added: “With the use of natural gas, even fares would be lower.”
However, he admitted that at present the major challenge the country is facing to effectively promote the use of natural gas for motor vehicles is the shortage of filling stations.
It is reported that currently there is only one station at Ubungo selling gas. But Naleja said there are plans underway to set-up 25 filling stations in Dar es Salaam.
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