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Future available today

May 19, 2016

Natural gas is growing in popularity as a vehicle fuel every year. Its advantages over conventional fuels are obvious. It is a modern, convenient, cost efficient and environmentally friendly energy solution.

Gazprom is taking extensive efforts to develop the domestic NGV market, primarily by constructing new gas fueling infrastructure. Today, Gazprom owns 213 compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations in Russia (as of early 2016, there were around 270 CNG stations in the country). Read this photo essay to learn where new CNG stations of Gazprom will be built in 2016.

Gazprom sells NGV fuel under the brand name EcoGas. The EcoGas fuel conforms to the Euro 5 emission standard. Vehicles running on this type of fuel emit five times less toxic fumes than gasoline-driven vehicles, and its average price in Russia is only RUB 12 per one cubic meter.

Natural gas helps extend the lifespan of the engine by 1.5 to 2 times because, when burnt, it doesn’t leave any carbon residue in the engine or dilute the oil film on cylinder walls, thereby reducing friction and wear of machine parts.

Gazprom’s CNG stations offer different payment options to customers. For example, legal entities and individual entrepreneurs can pay with fuel cards through a convenient cashless payment system that allows them to keep a record of refuelings made and also to generate online reports using selected parameters.

In 2016, the CNG station network of Gazprom will be expanded significantly: 35 new stations will be opened in 21 Russian regions and four existing stations will be reconstructed.

Several CNG stations will be set up as early as this summer in the Republic of Tatarstan, the Stavropol Territory, and the Kemerovo, Novgorod and Tomsk Regions. Pictured: new CNG station in Novoalexandrovsk, Stavropol Territory.

The locations for the new stations were selected with a view to establish NGV corridors along the most popular transportation routes. Currently, there is only one CNG station at the 509-kilometer section between Krasnodar and Elista, which makes it impossible for a gas-powered vehicle to cover the distance. This is why four new stations will be set up along this route in 2016.

The construction of new CNG stations is synchronized with the expansion of the vehicle fleet and the diversification of gas-powered equipment. NGV sales are on the rise in Russia: 3,172 vehicles were sold in 2015, which exceeds the 2014 level by 39 per cent. In addition, around 5,000 vehicles were converted to natural gas. At the beginning of 2016, the total count of NGVs in the country stood at some 110,000.

The Republic of Tatarstan is among Russia’s top regions in terms of gas conversion. A wide range of gas-powered machinery is produced there. For instance, KAMAZ manufactures over 50 models of gas-driven vehicles, from trucks to buses.

Key consumers of NGV fuel include companies operating urban passenger transport and utility equipment. For instance, the Municipal Passenger Transport Company based in Veliky Novgorod owns 44 gas-driven buses, which makes up over 50 per cent of its total vehicle fleet.

One station is hardly enough to ensure the number of gas-powered buses grows further: a new CNG station will be put into operation in June, which will not only help ease the load on the existing station, but also provide natural gas to highway transport on the Moscow – St. Petersburg route. Pictured: new CNG station in Veliky Novgorod.

In the Tomsk Region, natural gas is widely used by both passenger transport and motor cars.

The most popular NGVs in that segment are LADA Largus and LADA Vesta. A local company named Aprel has a taxi pool with about 50 gas-fueled cars, 30 of which were converted under incentive programs run by Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo, a specialized company focused on NGV market development. In 2015, a total of 1,000 pieces of equipment was converted to natural gas under such programs. Pictured: CNG station in Tomsk.

This year, Tomsk will see the commissioning of the fourth Gazprom-owned CNG station.

Heavy-duty mining equipment is also powered by natural gas. For example, 12 gas-driven dump trucks were successfully utilized in the Kemerovo Region, where the Kuznetsk Coal Basin is located, and it was decided to expand the local NGV fleet as a result.

In a matter of months, the reconstruction of one of the four CNG stations operating in Novokuznetsk will be completed (pictured: station before reconstruction).

The station’s core equipment was replaced and its exterior was renovated in the course of the reconstruction works (pictured: station during reconstruction).

Large-scale construction of gas fueling infrastructure makes compressed natural gas – the fuel of the future – more widely available every year. By late 2020, Gazprom’s CNG station network in Russia will consist of around 500 units.

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