Gazprom’s focus on development and promotion of natural gas vehicle (NGV) markets, both in Russia and in Europe, have been reiterated in press releases this week. The European focus appears driven in part by the upcoming introduction of the Euro 6 standard from 2014, while the at-home focus centers on reducing emissions impact in the larger cities. The underlying interest is economic, with Gazpom considering the natural gas vehicle (NGV) market as a promising area of the Company’s activities targeted at increasing the efficiency of Russian gas sales abroad, primarily in Europe.
The Gazprom Board of Directors noted that the growth of the Russian NGV fuel market would produce a considerable economic and social effect. Conversion of motor vehicles to natural gas will reduce road transport costs due to the difference in prices for conventional fuels. It will bring about cost reduction in all economic sectors.
Until now, Gazprom explains, natural gas has been the only type of fuel meeting modern environmental and economic requirements. Its use in motor vehicles will reduce CO2 and CO emissions by 25 and 80 per cent respectively.
In 2013 the volume of financial resources allocated to investment projects for CNG filling stations construction under the Russian Regions Gasification Program will amount to RUB 1 billion. As part of the Program, preparations are underway to start building 21 CNG filling stations in the Republic of Tatarstan, the Vologda, Novgorod, Nizhny Novgorod, Kaluga, Voronezh, Novosibirsk, Orel, Rostov, Ryazan, Tambov Regions, the Perm and Stavropol Territories.
Gazprom Germania and Vemex (a Gazprom-controlled natural gas trading company in the Czech Republic) represent the Gazprom Group on the European NGV market. In 2012 the number of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) filling stations owned by Gazprom Germania increased from 2 to 6. By 2015 it is planned to increase the number of the company-owned stations to 15 due to the construction of new CNG filling stations.
In the Czech Republic, Vemex owns 6 CNG filling stations, 4 of which were acquired in 2012. In addition, gas was delivered to 2 CNG filling stations owned by other companies. Vemex also expects to bring the number of stations up to 15 by 2015.
Meanwhile, Gazprom will gradually increase the share of its own vehicles (motor, specialty, road-building and weight-lifting equipment) running on natural gas. A program for expanded conversion of Gazprom Group’s vehicles to natural gas between 2014 and 2017 will be elaborated this year.
The Board of Directors tasked the Management Committee to continue the work on expanding natural gas use as a motor fuel in Russia jointly with state authorities.
The Russian fleet of gas-powered vehicles numbers some 90,000 units, with 4.6 per cent owned by Gazprom. Nowadays 246 CNG filling stations with the total design capacity of some 2 billion cubic meters of gas a year are operating in 58 Russian regions. Gazprom Group owns 210 Russian CNG filling stations.
According to preliminary data, in 2012 Russian CNG filling stations sold 390 million cubic meters of compressed natural gas, which is 28.4 million cubic meters more than in 2011.