Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has approved a project for production of 300 clean-energy buses powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to gradually replace old fossil-fueled buses which have been contributing to environmental pollution. The project will be implemented by Saigon Transportation Mechanical Corporation (SAMCO) between now and 2015 at a total investment of approximately VND 163 billion (USD 7.8 million).
Previously, Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has approved investment by Sai Gon Coach Company in 50 pilot CNG buses. The first 21 buses, of Korean origin, were put into operation on the Ben Thanh – Cho Lon Bus Station route and the results obtained have been very encouraging. The buses using CNG run smoothly and the absence of fumes make them a favored ride for passengers. Phase 2, for the additional 29 units, awaits further investment.
Additionally, in January 2012, Ho Chi Minh City Bus Cooperative inaugurated a fleet of CNG buses.
From the market survey, the economic benefits are proven: CNG buses benefit both economically and environmentally. Emissions from the CNG buses are significantly smaller than the Vietnamese standards for CO2, CO and HC concentrations. CNG vehicles also operate more quietly. Fuel costs are reduced by almost 30%
Although CNG buses are much more expensive in Vietnam than diesel buses, the People’s Committee has concluded that the the general balance of economic benefits and environmental benefits points to CNG as the optimal solution for the development of public passenger transport of Ho Chi Minh City.
According to the Department of Environment, Ministry of Transport, there are presently 28 CNG buses operating on four bus routes in Ho Chi Minh City and two CNG filling stations.
(Source: Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee)