Very soon, Thailand’s first ethanol bus will start rolling the streets of Bangkok, as a demonstration project which will increase awareness of environmentally friendly fuels.
Ms. Liselott M. Agerlid, Chargé d´Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Sweden together Dr. Witoon Simachokedee, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, and Mr. Amnuay Thongsathitya, Chief Inspector-General of the Ministry of Energy, presided over the launching ceremony of “Thailand’s first Ethanol Bus project” on Tuesday, 28 June 2011, held at the Army Club in Bangkok. The project is another area of Thai-Swedish cooperation in the environment sector. While Thailand has abundant raw materials from both sugar cane and cassava for the production of ethanol, Sweden has more than 20 years of good experience on ethanol buses. In fact, Sweden has the largest ethanol bus fleet in the world with over 600 Scania buses running on ED95 – mainly in Stockholm city.
The project is supported by 8 prominent partners from both public and private sectors in Thailand. It aims to demonstrate the usage of ethanol as an alternative fuel for public transportation and also to analyse its economy so that the government can further promote the usage of ethanol. In addition to improving the environment, use of ethanol will reduce the country’s dependency on imported fuel. The Energy Conservation Promotion Fund has provided funds to King Mongkut’s University of Technology to operate the project for one year. The bus is on loan from Scania and is now put into service on a regular bus-route between Bangmod and Siam Square in Bangkok.
With its abundant raw materials for production of ethanol, Thailand has the potential to become the first country in South East Asia to have ethanol buses run in its capital.