"Later this year, the 'metrobus' operation will be launched. This is a pilot operation, which will then hopefully be extended to other locations and densify the offer," Paulo Batista Santos, CIMRL's 1st executive secretary, told Lusa.

CIMRL also said that, "within the scope of the 'Sustainable and Intelligent Mobility Strategy of the Region of Leiria', the link between the cities of Leiria and Marinha Grande will receive a new sustainable mobility project, with the ability to reduce the carbon footprint of individual vehicle use through the implementation of a metrobus'", which is a form of sustainable public transport using buses powered by green hydrogen.

"The project will also be extended to the connections between the cities of Leiria, Pombal and Fátima, in the municipality of Ourém."

According to CIMRL, the pilot project "has an initial investment estimated at 2.5 million euros", to be carried out by the Intermunicipal Community in partnership with the municipalities and "partially financed through an application" to the PRR.

"This initiative has the partnership of the Leiriense company PRF, Gás, Tecnologia e Construção, SA, in the development of the project of installation of 'unit of production, storage, supply, mixing and injection of hydrogen', for supply of buses and use of the surplus" of green hydrogen, "for injection and mixing in the natural gas network, objective framed in the National Hydrogen Plan", clarified the CIMRL.

For CIMRL, "sustainable mobility is a priority and must be the new basis of growth in the transport sector, and the existence of interconnected transport systems is essential."

The Intermunicipal Community stressed that this project is framed "in the Strategy of Sustainable and Intelligent Mobility of the Region of Leiria, with hopes of increasing the use of sustainable public transport, in a region that registers an excessive number of users of own vehicle for the commutes between home to work which is above 80%, according to the latest publication of INE [National Institute of Statistics] on 'What the Censuses tell us about territorial dynamics', based on the results of the 2021 Census."

The 1st executive secretary of CIMRL stated that "there is the project and CIMRL will carry it out with or without the money of the application" to the PRR, noting that the technological partner of the Intermunicipal Community "is the same one that developed the project in Cascais [district of Lisbon], among other places".

"The green hydrogen production unit will be close to the city of Leiria and will be operational this year," said Paulo Batista Santos.

CIMRL integrates the municipalities of Alvaiázere, Ansião, Batalha, Castanheira de Pera, Figueiró dos Vinhos, Leiria, Marinha Grande, Pedrógão Grande, Pombal and Porto de Mós.

Portugal's Recovery and Resilience Plan is worth €16.6 billion – €13.9 billion in grants and €2.7 billion in loans.