Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM), a public utilities company in Colombia’s second largest city, has opened its eleventh own-brand station for natural gas vehicles (NGV), located in the south of the Aburrá Valley. The station, located at La Universidad de Medellín, is for the exclusive use of Lines 1 and 2 of the Metro mass transit system. The other ten stations are accessible by the public.
The General Manager of EPM and EPM Group leader, Juan Esteban Calle Restrepo, said that “it is very important for the company to ensure better service delivery of compressed natural gas (CNG) to the mass transit system of the city. With this new service station, located in a strategic area of Medellin, we hope to facilitate the logistics operation of Lines 1 and 2 of the Metro. ”
The new Service Station, the eleventh own brand of EPM in the Metropolitan Area, will serve 67 Metro standard and articulated buses, which on average make refueling stops between between two and three times a day, with a time of 5 minutes and 7 minutes respectively. The station has two pumps (one for each type of bus) and two CNG compressors. The compressor room is soundproofed to avoid noise pollution and disturbance to area residents. The station operates 24/7 throughout the year in accordance with the needs of the mass transit system and its users.
Compared to other fuels such as diesel, EPM explains natural gas fuel delivers clear environmental and health benefits for the city and its inhabitants, reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, carbon dioxide sulfur and carbon dioxide. According to the World Bank, the pollution produced in Colombia only for particulate matter (accumulation of these pollutants) causes about 6,000 premature deaths and 7,400 new cases of chronic bronchitis deaths each year, contributing to about 13,000 hospitalizations and 255,000 hospital emergency visits and external each year, which equates to an average annual cost of approximately $ 1.5 million, i.e. 0.8% of GDP.
“Opening the U. of M. Service Station, EPM reiterates commitment to preserving the environment and the welfare of the community, and contributes to the optimization of the operation of the integrated transport system,” said Calle Restrepo.
EPM’s objective in the short term is to build two other stations to streamline the supply of CNG to feeders basins 3 and 6 of the Metro.