The world’s longest Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) rally is underway with fifteen vehicles setting off from Rudong in Jiangsu Province, China last week and traveling 1390 kilometres west to Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi Province and eastern end to the Silk Road. Xi’an marks the beginning of the New Silk Road, the land component of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ economic strategy. The rally route will traverse China, Kazakhstan, and Russia.
At round-table discussion took place in Xi’an, discussion amongst the more than 160 participants focused on China’s commitment to natural gas as a major fuel for transportation and noted the desirability of having major transportation routes equipped with natural gas refueling infrastructure. Efforts to create natural gas filling infrastructure along the route of the Europe – China corridor are being taken as part of cooperation between Gazprom, CNPC, and KazMunayGas. The respective memorandum was signed at the 7th St. Petersburg International Gas Forum on October 5, 2017.
The “Gas into Motors” race is sponsored by the three countries’ largest energy majors – CNPC, KazMunayGas, and Gazprom. The rally’s partners include Germany’s Uniper and the Silkway Rally Association for the Support and Development of Motor Sports, the organizer of the Silk Way international rally.
The Gas into Motors race will primarily follow the route of the emerging international transit corridor between China and Europe. The rally will pass through the cities of Suqian, Zhengzhou, Xi’an, Dingxi, Wuwei, Jiayuguan, Hami, Turfan, Usu, and Khorgas (China); Almaty, Taraz, Turkestan, Kyzylorda, Aralsk, and Aktobe (Kazakhstan); Orenburg, Almetyevsk, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Vladimir, Torzhok, and St. Petersburg (Russia). At 9,881 kilometers, Gas into Motors will become the world’s longest rally for NGVs powered by LNG.
The rally will feature a total of 15 trucks, cars and buses fueled mostly by LNG, as well as mobile NGV refuelers. Refueling services will be provided by the companies taking part in the project: KunLun Energy Company Limited (part of CNPC) in China and Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo in Kazakhstan and Russia.
In the course of the race, meetings will be held with government officials and members of the public, producers and suppliers of gas-powered machinery and equipment, and companies using and servicing gas-fueled vehicles.
The race will conclude on October 4 at the 8th St. Petersburg International Gas Forum in St. Petersburg.
The Gas into Motors rally is meant to showcase natural gas as a cost-effective, eco-friendly and safe vehicle fuel and to demonstrate the diversity, usability, excellent quality and dependability of gas-powered machinery.
The event will serve as a barometer for the use of LNG-fueled NGVs within a transcontinental motor corridor, contributing to the development of natural gas filing infrastructure along the Europe – China corridor and the harmonization of regulations on the use of refuelers and gas-powered machinery in the participating countries.
CNPC is a major Chinese oil and gas company. KunLun Energy Company Limited, a subsidiary of CNPC, is focused on, among other things, the development of China’s NGV market. The subsidiary controls a network of CNG and LNG filling stations across various Chinese regions, three LNG import terminals, and a large number of LNG plants. In addition, CNPC’s corporate structure includes specialized design subdivisions that develop special equipment for the NGV sector.
KazMunayGas National Company is an operator for hydrocarbon exploration, production, processing and transportation, representing the government in the oil and gas sector of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The KazMunayGas National Company Group, which was set up in 2002, comprises 220 entities.
Uniper SE is a subsidiary of E.ON SE focused on power generation and global energy trading. Gazprom and Uniper collaborate in gas supplies and transportation abroad, as well as implement joint sci-tech and socio-cultural programs.
China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative is a foreign policy and economic strategy of the People’s Republic of China. The term derives from the overland ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and the ‘21st-Century Maritime Silk Road’, concepts introduced by PRC President Xi Jinping in 2013.
Sources: Gazprom, CNPC