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German MAN to build gas- powered buses

The German automotive concern MAN Slovakia announced on November 30 its intention to build an assembly plant in Slovakia for buses using compressed natural gas (CNG) as fuel. The costs of the project are estimated at 10 million Deutsch marks, and construction of the plant should start next year.

The Bratislava City Transit company (MHD) has expressed interest in buses using this alternative fuel. One of the conditions for MAN's entry onto the Slovak market and construction of the plant was guaranteed sales of at least 100 buses annually in Slovakia, the minimum necessary for the investment to be effective.

The current price of a MAN bus is around 370,000 Deutschmarks in Germany, but if the buses are assembled in Slovakia, the price could drop by 20 to 25%. MAN started producing buses running on natural gas in the mid 1980's.

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