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Biodiesel trial for Christchurch buses

Biodiesel trial for Christchurch buses

Biodiesel, a cleaner fuel,is being tried as an alternative fuel on some Christchurch buses to decide whether it is a viable choice for sustainable transport options in the future.

The launch of the Sustainable Transport Programme and the bus biodiesel trial is being held at 11am in Cathedral Square on Monday, September 11.

The 12-month trial in Christchurch, run by Environment Canterbury, will assess how New Zealand biodiesel performs in the Canterbury climate.

“The buses involved in the trial have a very striking livery both inside and out which also provide information about sustainable transport options for the city,” said Cr Nicky Wagner, chairperson of Environment Canterbury’s public passenger portfolio.

“The trial will also create awareness among the local community that biodiesel is an alternative for Canterbury in the future.”

Four buses will use the biodiesel blend of both plant oil and animal fat. Other types of biodiesel may be introduced into some of the buses during the remainder of the year’s trial.

During peak times the buses will be operated by Leopard Coachlines and Christchurch Bus Services on Metro bus routes. The buses will initially run on the Redwood/Hoon Hay (13), Ilam/Mt Pleasant (21) and Hyde Park/Bromley (24) routes.

“New Zealand’s transport sector has the fastest growing demand for energy and is also responsible for 45 per cent of New Zealand’s greenhouse emissions,” said Cr Wagner. “Using biofuels could reduce New Zealand’s reliance on imported crude oil and reduce greenhouse emissions.”

Auckland has already conducted a trial on biodiesel. The Christchurch trial, with colder winters, will give Environment Canterbury information about how the cold weather affects biodiesel.

“In cold weather, biodiesel residue tends to crystalise in engine components. This one year trial also gives Environment Canterbury an opportunity to collate and record local emissions data,” Cr Wagner said.

Results from the Christchurch trial can be viewed, initially on the Environment Canterbury website www.ecan.govt.nz/sustainabletransport or at > www.metroinfo.org.nz/biodiesel.html .

The trial is supported by Environment Canterbury, Leopard Coachlines, Christchurch Bus Services, Biodiesel Oils, Independent Petroleum Laboratory Limited, Petro-Tec Services and the Centre for Advanced Engineering.


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