Russian gas producer Gazprom has reiterated its determination to gassify Russian transport in 2013 within the context of its Russian Regions Gasification Program. With a view to step up the development of regional NGV fuel markets, Gazprom’s Board has approved investments amounting to RUB 1 billion (approx USD 33 million) for CNG filling stations construction and motor vehicles conversion to natural gas.
Viktor Zubkov, Chairman of the Gazprom Board of Directors highlighted that today’s main objective was to unify the dispersed efforts on Russian motor vehicles conversion to natural gas, harmonize the work being done by carmakers, gas producers and Russian constituents, as well as to introduce the required amendments into the regulatory framework.
Zubkov held a number of working meetings to address the NGV fuel market evolution in Russia, comprised of top managers from Russian and foreign companies specializing in motor vehicle equipment, CNG filling stations components, road transportation, NGV fuel production and sales: KAMAZ, RariTEK, GAZ Group, Volgabus, AvtoVAZ, Stork, Gazprom Export, Gazprom Germania, MAN Truck & Bus Rus, BAUER COMP, Iveco Russia.
The participants shared information on natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and special machinery production and measures to boost its development, organization of maintenance, the state of regional NGV infrastructure and measures for its expansion, and addressed proposals on updating the relevant regulatory system. The key operations role will be played by Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo, which Gazprom recently set up to consolidate core NGV fuel production and sales assets.
The 2013 Gassification program includes pilot projects for CNG filling stations construction and motor vehicles conversions. The pilot projects will be carried out in regions already having the experience of motor vehicles conversion to natural gas and the required financial and economic conditions.
Zubkov also defined the main vehicle conversion target groups: public motor transport, housing and utilities sector, agroindustrial enterprises, and small and medium-sized businesses. Replacement of conventional fuels in these segments is expected to avoid the tariff growth in public motor transport, reduce the prime cost of agroindustrial products, save vehicle maintenance related costs and improve the ecological situation.
Meeting participants agreed to hold regular topical meetings in a number of regions selected for pilot vehicle conversion projects. The first meeting is to take place in Kazan on February 27.
In 2012 Gazprom stepped up its efforts on developing the regional NGV fuel markets. Proposals on joint development of the NGV infrastructure were sent to 69 Russian constituents participating in the Gasification Program. By now, 10 regions have made up a list of pilot investment projects on CNG filling stations construction, developed feasibility studies and adopted decisions to start the construction as early as in 2013. Six regions have made up a list of pilot investment projects and are finishing feasibility studies. 23 regions are engaged in determining the locations of future CNG filling stations.
(This article compiled using information from Gazprom press releases)