Tallinn’s public transport company AS Tallinna Linnatransport (TLT) and Bioforce Infra OU on Tuesday opened a compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station with 120 refueling slots and two fast refueling slots in eastern Tallinn, which is capable of refueling all the 200 gas powered buses currently plying the city’s public transport routes.
The filling station started operating already in January. Since then, construction works on the site and tidying-up have been completed. According to TLT, the station is the highest-capacity gas resupply station of its kind in the whole Baltic region and Finland.
“The transition to gas powered buses and the development of new infrastructure is an important step in developing an environmentally friendly transport system for both Tallinn and Estonia,” Andrei Novikov, deputy mayor of Tallinn, said in a press release. He added that the common goal of TLT and the city is to completely abandon diesel by 2025.
Deniss Borodits, CEO of TLT, said that the compressed gas station on Peterburi Road ushers in a new stage of development of the Estonian public transport sector, and the transition to CNG powered buses will make Tallinn’s public transport system the largest consumer of compressed gas in Estonia.
He said that as things stand, the capital city is already served by 200 buses running on compressed gas, and another 150 gas powered buses will be added in the coming year. Three hundred and fifty gas powered buses consume approximately 200 gigawatt-hours of compressed gas per year.
The CNG filling station was built by Bioforce Infra OU, winner of a public procurement tender, in collaboration with Verston Ehitus.
Henry Uljas, CEO of Bioforce Infra OU, said that in the slow refueling area, up to 120 vehicles can be refueled simultaneously in four hours, while with the fast refueling system, the refueling process of a bus takes only 6-8 minutes.
“As the vast majority of the capital’s public transport vehicles are refueled at night, when there are no regular services, the filling station can cover the needs of all 200 vehicles,” Uljas added.
He noted that, at the same time, the company is building another station on Kadaka Road in the western part of the city, which will add 200 slow refueling slots and three fast refueling slots within a month.
Uljas pointed out that in the last three years, biomethane production has tripled in Estonia. Today, there are five biomethane production units in Estonia, and the coming few years will definitely see at least three more biomethane plants commissioned.
“For example, Bioforce OU is building a new production plant at Aravete, which will produce approximately 35 gigawatt-hours of green gas per year. The size of the investment is four million euros and the new station is expected to start operating in February next year,” Uljas said.