UPM has been testing its wood-based renewable diesel UPM BioVerno on buses in the Helsinki metropolitan area, Finland, since 2016. The test is being carried out in collaboration with the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL), VTT, and Helsinki City Construction Services, Stara.
HSL aims to have buses operating within the Helsinki area using 100% renewable fuels by the year 2020. This is a significant project, as HSL runs a fleet of approximately 1,400 buses in the Helsinki metropolitan area, and they consume roughly 40,000 tonnes of fuel per year.
”The aim is for all of Stara’s commercial vehicles and bus services commissioned by HSL to switch from regular fuels to renewable fuels by 2020. The project started in 2016, and the aim is to increase the amount of renewable fuels in transport each year”, describes Marko Snellman, Commercial Manager at UPM Biofuels.
In 2017, the project continued with the launch of BioSata, an initiative, where buses and the majority of the city’s machinery and trucks are switching to waste- and residue-based biofuels.
In addition to UPM Biofuels, HSL (Helsinki Regional Transport Authority), Stara, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Finnish Petroleum and Biofuels Association, the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and several energy companies operating in Finland are involved in the project.
Exposure to air pollution reduced
Renewable fuels will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from public transport by 80%, which amounts to 120,000 tonnes per year. The amount contains both direct emissions from fuel combustion, as well as the emissions from the production.
With targeted use of renewable fuels, harmful tailpipe emissions, such as nitrogen oxide and particles, can be reduced too. People living in the city are exposed to less air pollution, because particle emissions are decreased by up to 30%. The effects can be seen in the air quality of Helsinki city centre, in particular.
Approximately 500,000 tonnes of biofuels are produced each year in Finland. Helsinki is one of the world’s first urban regions to switch from regular fuels to 100% waste- and residue-based fuels in public transport.