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Gazprom, Russian Railways, and domestic machine builders to cooperate for wider use of gas-powered locomotives

Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Oleg Belozerov, President of Russian Railways, Dmitry Pumpyansky, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sinara Group, and Andrey Bokarev, President of Transmashholding, today signed the Agreement of Cooperation in the NGV sector at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2016.

The document is aimed at promoting natural gas use in railway and motor transport, mitigating environmental impacts, facilitating NGV market growth, increasing domestic gas consumption, and fostering the national machine building industry.

According to the Agreement, Gazprom will build modern gas-fueling infrastructure facilities in the locations approved by Russian Railways and will provide for the refueling of the railway rolling stock with liquefied natural gas. The Company will assist Russian Railways in testing gas-powered locomotives.

Russian Railways will see to the adaptation of production & technical facilities at railroad depots and will develop and implement a vocational training and re-training system for engineers, technicians, and locomotive crews working at gas-powered locomotives. In addition, Russian Railways will adopt a program for converting its corporate motor vehicles to natural gas.

In their turn, Sinara Group and Transmashholding will provide for the certification, manufacturing, and maintenance of natural gas-fueled locomotives (mainline gas turbine locomotives for Sinara Group and gas turbine shunters for Transmashholding).

The signatories to the document agreed to synchronize their efforts in expanding the fleet of gas-powered rail transport and developing the refueling and maintenance infrastructure.

Background

Russian Railways is among the world's top three railway companies providing for 45.3 per cent of the aggregate cargo turnover and 25.9 per cent of the passenger turnover in Russia. The Russian Federation is the founder and sole shareholder of Russian Railways.

In 2005, Russian Railways launched a project aimed at designing and manufacturing a liquefied natural gas-powered locomotive (gas turbine locomotive) within the framework of its strategy for increasing energy efficiency in transportation. The first trips of the gas turbine locomotive proved its efficiency in heavy train transportation. In 2009, the gas turbine locomotive was used in transporting a 15,200-ton freight train, setting a world record for a self-powered locomotive with one propulsion unit.

Based on Russian Railways' specifications, Russian companies manufactured two mainline gas turbine locomotives and one gas turbine shunter, all of them powered by LNG. They are in regular service at the Egorshino – Serov-Sortirovochny section of the Sverdlovsk Railway.

Sinara Group is a diversified company comprising entities from different industry sectors. Machine building is a priority for the Group. Under the Agreement signed with Russian Railways, Lyudinovsky Locomotive Plant (part of the Sinara Transportation Machines holding company) produced a prototype of a gas turbine locomotive that successfully passed the heavy train test. As agreed by the parties, the manufacturer will supply Russian Railways with 40 gas turbine locomotives.

Transmashholding is a leading Russian manufacturer of rolling stock for railways and public transport. It produces locomotives, subway cars, electric and diesel trains, passenger cars, freight wagons, and diesels of various applications.

Today, the company has the opportunity to design and manufacture locomotives of all existing classes, including gas-powered ones.

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