Russian gas giant Gazprom and major bus manufacturer Volga Bus have entered into an Agreement for the creation and implementation of a full range of modern natural gas powered buses as well as the formation of a favorable environment for developing the natural gas vehicle market in Russia. The document was signed by Valery Golubev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Alexey Bakulin, Director General of Volga Bus at a meeting in Volzhsky, Volgograd Oblast, last week.
According to the document, Volga Bus will organize the production of CNG buses, the service infrastructure, and the system of professional training and retraining of maintenance staff. The company will also coordinate the conversion of the production and technical base of organizations that purchase gas powered buses.
For its part, Gazprom will arrange the construction of CNG infrastructure facilities in the areas where passenger vehicles are located and will organize testing of gas powered buses through the Company’s subsidiaries. Based on successful tests Gazprom will give consideration to purchasing Volga Bus CNG units for its companies.
The parties also agreed to jointly:
- elaborate the relevant proposals for federal and regional authorities; and
- promote the use of natural gas in passenger motor vehicles – to methodically and persistently explain the environmental and economic benefits of natural gas and demonstrate domestic gas cylinder equipment.
NGVRUS, the National Gas Vehicles Association of Russia, has commented separately that the legislative and regulatory fields in the tax environment, for enabling large-scale introduction of methane technology in the transportation sector, require substantial modernization.
According to Gazprom’s press release the Russian fleet of natural gas vehicles amounts to some 86 thousand units. At present, there are 249 CNG filling stations (207 of them are owned by Gazprom) in 58 regions of the Russian Federation. Besides, a new CNG filling station is currently being built in the Kaliningrad Oblast. 345 million cubic meters of compressed natural gas were sold by Russian CNG filling stations in 2010.
Gazprom signed the Agreements of Cooperation with the Kaluga, Orel and Tambov Oblasts to use natural gas as a motor fuel. The Tomsk, Kostroma and Volgograd Oblasts endorsed the regional legal acts aimed at development of their local CNG markets.
At present there are 10 CNG filling stations with a combined maximum capacity of 50 million cubic meters of gas per year in the Volgograd Oblast. These stations are capable of refueling some 2.3 thousand CNG vehicles per day. There are approximately 600 gas powered vehicles operating in the region.
(This article primarily compiled using information from a Gazprom press release)
(NGVRUS, the National Gas Vehicles Association of Russia, has commented separately that the legislative and regulatory fields in the tax environment, for enabling large-scale introduction of methane technology in the transportation sector, requires substantial modernization.)