Volvo Trucks has decided to its Umeå cab assembly plant C02 free. It's is the third plant to receive investment in power generation equipment that does not emit carbon dioxide emissions.

The first two plants, Göteborg in Sweden, and Ghent in Belgium, will switch entirely to wind and biofuel generated power by 2007.

The Umeå cab factory has signed an agreement with Umeå University and utility supplier Umeå Energi for a preliminary study on development of a process for replacing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) with locally produced eco-friendly bio-synthetic gas.

The aim is a preliminary study to develop a new gasification process together with the university. A plant planned for the cab plant will produce environmentally optimised bio-synthetic gas. This technology, whereby the forestry industry's residual by-products are ground down and gasified in a flow reactor, was developed by the university.

"Volvo Trucks is highly positive to the venture and is working actively to improve the environment," said Lars Mårtensson, environmental affairs director at Volvo Trucks.

Since the early 1980s, Volvo Trucks in Umeå has been working actively on energy- and environment-related issues. The company has already replaced oil with district heating for its industrial premises, and has been highly successful in reducing emissions of solvents from the plant's new paint shop. Over the past decade, solvent emissions into the air have been reduced by more than 80%.

The next stage in the process of making the factory carbon dioxide-free is to eliminate all use of LPG in cab production - today it's used in the paintshop's drying process.

Umeå makes cabs for trucks assembled in Ghent and Göteborg. In 2005, the plant produced just over 51,000 cabs.