With the number of natural gas vehicles growing globally, total consumption of motor fuel of about 40 billion cubic meters a year, natural gas fuel presence in more than 80 countries and St Petersburg International Gas Forum just days away, Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo, LLC (Gazprom Gas Fuel) takes a look at natural gas fuel developments in Russia.
An early attempt at developing the environmentally friendly fuel in Russia was made in the 80s. Under the state program in those years, Gazprom constructed about 200 CNG stations, but currently they are only about 25% utilised.
Viktor Zubkov – Chairman of the Board of Directors of PJSC “Gazprom”, explains four factors are needed to sustain and grow the NGV marketplace and which were not all realised at that time:
- Government support;
- Development of gas fueling infrastructure, i.e. construction of modern gas stations;
- The presence in the country of a wide range of vehicles that can run on natural gas; and
- The development of consumer demand.
“That is, if all four complex factors are involved, then the country has the opportunity to develop this market,” Zubkov proposes.
Full-scale development began in May 2013, when Russia decreed massive natural gas fuel targets for 2020. At that time Russian President Vladimir Putin remarked: “Russia is, unfortunately, only 20th place on the use of cars on gas fuel. Of course, we have all the possibilities and resources and technology to take a leading position here.”
“This year, Gazprom Gas Fuel will build 25 new modern filling stations, about 10 million cubic meters each, and capable of refuelling 500 cars per day,” says Viktor Zubkov. “The next year in 2016, we will build 40 of these, and in 2017 – 70. By 2020 we will have about 500 modern filling stations, which can consume in a year about 5 billion cubic meters of natural gas.”
The NGV filling station in Bashkortostan, built in 1987, has this year been completely reconstructed and equipped with new energy-efficient compressors. The station has also been reconfigured to serve about 500 vehicles per day.
To date, more than 40 agreements have been signed with the regions, the most relevant of which are Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and Tomsk region. A strategic partnership has just signed with St. Petersburg.
“Operational savings using natural gas can amount to 17 million rubles (USD .256m) per year,” explains Yuri Ivanov, the general director of OOO Nizhnekamsk passenger motor company. “For our company it is very important.”
Progam funding last year enabled the purchase of about 1,000 municipal buses and construction equipment; this year about 1,200 CNG-powered machines will be purchased.
Truck and bus manufacturer KamAZ built this year a new production facility capable of producing 8,000 natural gas powered units per annum.
AvtoVAZ has introduced the CNG-powered Lada Largus – a semi-commercial bi-fuel vehicle, and will begin by producing 300 pilot units.
By 2020, the goal is to have more than 34,000 public transport units operating on natural gas. As calculated by the Ministry of Energy, it will reduce costs by 28 billion rubles (USD 422m) a year. The volume of emissions into the atmosphere is expected to reduce by almost 15 thousand tons per year.
For high-volume engines with high fuel consumption, such as used for heavy duty road freight, railway and water transport, liquefied natural gas (LNG) will be promoted.
(Source: Gazprom Gas Fuel)