During a recent working visit to Nizhny Novgorod, it was noted that Gazprom is consistently working to expand the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel. The main goal at this stage is to shape and develop the local NGV markets that will be subsequently linked via NGV corridors on key federal highways. Between 2015 and 2018, Gazprom built 86 new refuelling units (state-of-the-art CNG stations and refuelling modules at the existing stations, as well as platforms for mobile refuelers). It is planned to complete the construction of 43 units in 2019.
At present, Russian automakers are successfully producing a wide range of natural gas-powered vehicles numbering more than 220 models, including passenger, heavy and specialized vehicles.
Gazprom is also converting its own vehicles to natural gas. From 2014 to the end of July 2019, the number of NGVs in the Gazprom Group’s vehicle fleet totalled 11,658 units, which accounts for more than 50% of its vehicles that can be converted to natural gas. This figure is expected to reach 55% by the end of 2019.
Examples of successful conversion of vehicles to natural gas in agricultural entities were also reviewed at the meeting. Special attention was paid to the federal and regional measures required to support and accelerate NGV market development in Russia.
“Natural gas is an effective tool for cutting costs in all sectors of the economy where transportation is involved, as is clearly demonstrated by the results of Gazprom’s work. We are actively converting our own vehicle fleet to natural gas. Since 2014, the Company has saved RUB 4.8 billion (USD 75 million) as a result of using natural gas instead of petroleum fuels, and pollutant emissions have been reduced by over 108,600 tons. It is apparent that the greater the importance of vehicles in the activities of a commercial or governmental unit, the more significant will be the economic and environmental effect from converting vehicles to natural gas,” said Viktor Zubkov, Chairman of the Gazprom Board of Directors.
Gazprom’s delegation visited the factory of the GAZ Group in Nizhny Novgorod at which, among other things, NGVs are manufactured. Other places visited by the delegation included a taxi company that uses CNG cars and an enterprise that manufactures CNG cylinders for motor vehicles and mobile refuellers.