NGC CNG company, a subsidiary of The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago, is offering a fuel-based incentive to owners of school buses to switch to compressed natural gas (CNG). A Memorandum of Understanding between Private School Transport Association of Trinidad & Tobago (PSTATT), representing owners of school transport omnibuses, and NGC CNG was signed last week, effective through to December 31, 2018 or earlier if the offering is fully subscribed.
NGC CNG Company is leading a national initiative to switch to CNG from liquid fuel and represents its investment into this market segment to have new CNG users come on-board.
NGC CNG’s investment will see the first 40 drivers who purchase a new OEM CNG vehicle receiving $15,000 (USD 2,240) in fuel for a period of 2 years. Drivers who convert their existing Diesel vehicle to CNG, will receive $7,500 (USD 1,120) in fuel for a similar term, noting that Diesel/CNG conversions typically have half the natural gas consumption of a gasoline or 100% CNG vehicle. In all, 440 PSTATT members are being targeted and the total outlay for this incentive is TT$3.6 million (USD 0.54 million).
NGC CNG President Curtis Mohammed was happy to welcome aboard the PSTATT members while at the same time highlighting cleaner fuel options. “We believe that the public transportation segment is critical to CNG’s nationwide adoption. In particular, the schools and young minds connecting with the fact that there are cleaner fuel options will auger well for firmly inculcating the right mind-sets,” said Mohammed.
N’Dale Young, PRO of PSTATT was equally pleased with the signing of the MOU with NGC CNG. “With the advent of this MOU between the NGC CNG and the PSTATT we are not only able to offer drivers an alternative to price hiking in such a season, but in some cases, may even be able to facilitate some reduction; although we are aware that accessing such benefits will require some start-up costs. The Private School Transport Association is pleased to be a catalyst of the movement to induce the use of cleaner fuel in our public transport system. Not only towards the ecological benefits of reducing hydrocarbon emissions, but also to introduce innovative means of sustaining transport costs in an adverse economic climate where the end user (i.e. the parent) usually bears the total burden.”
Mohammed said NGC CNG will now be focusing more on getting drivers to convert their existing vehicles, since this was the more cost effective option. “Conversions represent a lower capital outlay for any owner/user of a vehicle. From a national perspective, there is less investment required via the conversions route than the new vehicle route. We believe that the new NGV (Natural Gas Vehicle) option is already taking root with the maxi taxis and we expect further growth with the PSTATT.”
If fully subscribed, 440 PSTATT drivers would represent approximately 50% of the total number of vehicles registered to transport school children.
The uptake of Compressed Natural Gas as a fuel for school buses is in accord with PSTATT’s stated mission, which is “To provide safe and efficient transportation services through fostering, promoting and fulfilling the needs of parents, students and/or personnel and school bus operators in Trinidad and Tobago.”
NGC CNG a subsidiary of NGC, was incorporated in 2013 to accelerate the demand for CNG as an alternate vehicular fuel. In September 2016, the first registered CNG Maxis were launched.
(Source: NGC CNG)