An executive of the sole supplier of natural gas in Mozambique has said that in the next five years his country will import from China about 1,000 buses that run on natural gas, AIM reports.

The Mozambican state-run news agency quotes Autogás Executive Director João Neves as saying so after the signing of a deal with the Maputo Metropolitan Transport Agency that provides for 80 of the Chinese-made buses to begin plying routes in Maputo by February.

The report quotes Agency Chairman António Matos as saying the first 80 buses will together cost about US$3.5 million, but will be cheaper to run than conventional vehicles.

Mr Matos expects the fleet of 40-seaters fuelled by natural gas to carry over 10 million passengers a year in Maputo and round about, and to create openings for about 320 drivers and conductors, AIM says.