Iceland has joined the ever-growing number of nations with compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, making use of upgraded biogas (bio-methane) instead of natural gas. Straeto, the bus company servicing the capital introduced two new Scania CNG buses in February 2006
The buses are a welcome addition to the growing number of CNG vehicles in this big island with only 300,000 inhabitants (of which 180,000 live in the Reykjavik capital area). There are 50 CNG vehicles in Iceland, 46 bi-fuel vehicles (VW, Citroen, Volvo, and Ford) and 4 dedicated heavy-duty natural gas vehicles (NGVs). The heavy duty vehicles include two Mercedes Bens Econic; one used as a waste truck and one used as a container truck (hauler) and the two recently commissioned Scania buses.
The bio-methane (gas) used comes from the Reykjavik capital area landfill site, operated by the waste management company SORPA. The landfill gas contains on the average 50-60% methane and is upgraded with a water scrubber. Along with introducing the buses, SORPA introduced the new upgrading plant, and ESSO in Iceland introduced a new booster pump station. The new scrubber plant was designed by VGK Consulting and large parts of the plant were built in Iceland. Water scrubbing was chosen after thorough comparison of available technologies.
Further developments are foreseen.
Today the upgraded methane is transported by containers to the dispenser site, approximately 40 km roundtrip. However, a project is under way to place a pipe from the upgrading plant to the dispenser which is only 5 km, which is likely to happen next autumn. Two new waste trucks will also commence operation in October this year and at least 10 new bi-fuel cars will be imported this year.
Metan Ltd., a knowledge and marketing company (owned by SORPA, ESSO, OR Energy Company and NSA-private investment fund) is responsible for marketing methane in Iceland.