New Flyer Industries, one of the leading manufacturers of heavy duty transit vehicles in Canada and the US, has been awarded a $46m contract to provide British Columbia (BC) Transit with a fleet of 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses.

The zero-emission fleet of buses will be used as part of a public transportation network during the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver and will initially be based in the mountain resort community of Whistler, where events such as Slpine skiing are due to be held.

The BC government has promised to cut the province's greenhouse gas emissions by one-third by 2020 and earlier this year said it would provide $45m for the green buses and to help construct the necessary hydrogen fueling stations.

The province and BC Transit are contributing money to the project, while Ballard Power Systems will produce the fuel cell modules and Calgary's Dynetek Industries will supply the hydrogen storage system. Delivery of the fleet is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

John Marinucci, president and CEO of New Flyer, said, $quot;We are pleased to have been selected by BC Transit as the prime contractor for the fuel cell mass transit initiative. This project allows us to continue the work we began with Ballard over a decade ago while leveraging our demonstrated leadership in the manufacture of fuel-efficient, greener transit solutions. We believe these highly-innovative, zero-emission vehicles will play a critical role in the future of transit.$quot;

All figures are quoted as Canadian dollars.