ACCRA, Ghana, 16th December, 2019 - Scania has signed an agreement with the Ivorian Ministry of Transport and SOTRA, the Abidjan Transport Company, to deliver 450 buses. The bus delivery forms part of a major initiative to upgrade SOTRA's fleet and improve public transport in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
"Scania West Africa has since our entry in the West African region in 2014 provided sustainable solutions for urban mobility and this agreement shows our commitment to being a trusted community partner in the region," says Fredrik Morsing, Managing Director at Scania West Africa. "Scania has successfully provided urban mobility solutions in Ghana and Nigeria. Based on the experience from the two countries, we look forward to a long-term partnership in providing better public transport services also in Abidjan."
The agreement includes upgrading bus depots and vocational training of drivers and service technicians. Scania, in collaboration with Agence Nationale d'Appui au Développement Rural (ANADER), has initiated a feasibility study funded by Swedfund, the Swedish Development Finance Institution, to assess the opportunities for producing local biofuels from agricultural waste from cocoa, rubber and banana cultivation in the country.
Scania will supply 400 low-entry 13-metre buses that are biodiesel compatible and 50 18-metre articulated buses that will be fuelled with compressed gases. All the buses being supplied are sustainable vehicles engineered to run efficiently on renewable and sustainable energy sources. The articulated buses that will be fuelled with compressed gas have the possibility to run on biogas in the future when the country begins biogas production. The body of all the buses will be built by Marcopolo. The buses will partly be deployed along the Boulevard Latrille Bus Rapid Transit system, which will form part of a future BRT system in Abidjan. It is estimated that the population of Greater Abidjan will increase to 7.7 million by 2030. By expanding public transport services through BRT, the aim is that two-thirds of the residents in 2030 will have access to the city centre within an hour.
Nicolas Lougovoy, Head of Strategic Projects at Scania West Africa and the team leader that saw the successful signing of the contract shared that, "Scania West Africa is taking a key step in the region by supporting the public bus operator SOTRA and the Transport Ministry.” He continued saying, “We are providing a complete sustainable transport solution with biofuel compatible buses, modern equipment such as Integrated Transport System (ITS) solutions, new bus depot facility and extensive training for the SOTRA staff. On top of strengthening SOTRA’s capacity, Scania and its partners will provide a 10km BRT corridor in Abidjan and pilot biofuel-run buses made from local agricultural waste which Côte d'Ivoire has in abundance.”
That holistic approach of combining mass transportation and waste to fuel will enable generate to an increase of local jobs, provide extra incomes to farmers and significantly reduce carbon footprint and air pollution
A group of Swedish and French companies and institutions are presently engaged in sustainable public transport initiatives in Abidjan. Team Sweden with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Business Sweden, Swedfund, the Swedish Export Credit Agency, EKN, and the Swedish Export Credit Corporation, SEK, have supported with capacity building and financing.
"With these strategic partnerships and joint efforts, we can contribute to finding sustainable, innovative and attractive solutions for Côte d'Ivoire and other countries in the region," says Ylva Berg, CEO & President, Business Sweden.
"I am really pleased that we have taken the first step in this important effort and I am looking forward to an even closer collaboration between Sweden and Côte d'Ivoire," says Maria Leissner, Ambassador of Sweden to Côte d'Ivoire.
François Lechat, Sales Director at Scania West Africa, stated that; "This bus deal offers us the unique opportunity to improve the standard of transportation for the residents living in Abidjan. As the region continues to develop, there is the need to invest in infrastructures and solutions that match the growth."