Westport Innovations Inc., developer of advanced engines and vehicles for the global natural gas for transportation market, has signed a market agreement with Gazprom of Russia’s subsidiary Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo (Gazprom) which focuses on expanding the use of natural gas vehicles in Russia and the localization of manufacturing of Westport’s Emer brand natural gas products. The agreement was signed at the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum, where the two parties signed a roadmap outlining their planned market development activities.
Gazprom has 200 existing compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, with plans to invest in existing station upgrades and new station construction to meet a target of about 500 fuelling stations by 2020. According to Gazprom, CNG consumption is projected to grow from 0.4 billion cubic meters in 2013 to 10.4 billion cubic meters by 2020, and LNG consumption to grow from zero to 3.8 million tons per year. Thirty-one regions in Russia have been selected for investment projects promoting the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel.
“Gazprom is investing in initiatives to accelerate growth of the natural gas vehicle market in Russia due to strong demand for emissions compliance,” says Mikhail Likhachev, Director General of Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo. “We are working with Emer, a Westport company, for its expertise in natural gas vehicle components and market development.”
“In addition to assessing localized manufacturing and building relationships with Russian OEMs for vehicle development opportunities, Westport will advise on regulatory requirements to enable effective use of natural gas in transportation,” added Maurizio Grando, Executive Vice President, Applied Technologies Group at Westport.
According to Power Systems Research, there were a total of 2.2 million units sold in the light-duty market (cars, light-duty trucks and vans) in Russia in 2013. In the medium- and heavy-duty bus and truck market, there were 119,881 units sold in the same timeframe.
Gazprom’s subsidiary Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo is a unified operator for developing the NGV market on behalf of Gazprom. It was established in December 2012. The objective of this company is to promote natural gas as a motor fuel, which is more environmentally friendly, more cost-efficient and safer as compared to traditional fuels.
(Source: Westport and Gazprom)