Environmentally friendly fuel
Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo – a sole operator company focused on expanding the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel
Natural gas is the most universal and available fuel capable to replace petroleum products. Moreover, it also features a range of advantages in comparison with oil and its derivatives, the main of which is high environmental friendliness.
The global market of natural gas vehicles (NGV) is rapidly developing. The number of methane powered vehicles exceeded 13 billion. According to the International Gas Union forecast, the NGV fleet will grow to 50 million units by 2020 and more than 100 million units by 2030. Formation of an appropriate regulatory and legal framework is underway. In 2010 the demand for compressed natural gas (CNG) increased by 20 percent and 18 thousand CNG filling stations were operating worldwide as of the end of 2010.
So rapid development of this sector is fair enough – natural gas ensures the safest vehicle emissions among all widely used motor fuels and technologies at the present time. Conversion of gasoline vehicles to natural gas reduces pollutant emissions by around five times and noise emissions – by two times.
Natural gas use as a motor fuel is one of the promising ways of the petroleum industry development in Russia.
Being the leader of the domestic NGV fuel market, Gazprom is actively promoting natural gas vehicles in Russia. The Company cooperates with suppliers of gas filling equipment, state and municipal administration bodies, economic and scientific centers, international organizations and foreign partners as well as creates new infrastructure facilities throughout the country.
At present, the Russian NGV fleet amounts to some 86 thousand units. The CNG demand accounted for 345 million cubic meters in 2010.
255 CNG filling stations are operating in 60 regions of the Russian Federation, 206 of which are owned by Gazprom. The highest CNG consumption level in the country is observed in the Stavropol and Krasnodar Krais, the Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk and Rostov Oblasts, Kabardino-Balkaria and South Ossetia.
CNG sales in the Russian Federation from 2000 to 2010
In 2007 Gazprom approved the Targeted Comprehensive Program for CNG Filling Network and NGV Fleet Development over 2007 to 2015. The Program stipulates commissioning of at least 200 CNG filling stations in various regions of Russia and building up gas filling capacities to 2.6 billion cubic meters annually. It will increase the number of CNG powered motor vehicles and agricultural equipment by more than 50 thousand units before 2015. Annual CNG sales in Russia will grow to 700 million cubic meters. This will cut greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere by more than 1 million tons of CO2 equivalent.
Number of vehicles switched to natural gas by OAO Gazprom, 2009–2010, units
In order to popularize its NGV fuel promotion initiatives, Gazprom in cooperation with the Russian National Gas Vehicle Association (NGVRUS) annually holds the GasSUF specialized exhibition, the International Scientific and Practical Conference “Gas in Motors” and the Blue Corridor motor rally.
In 2008 the first Blue Corridor started in Saint Petersburg, went through Veliky Novgorod, Tver and finished Moscow. In 2009 the motor rally route ran from Rostov-on-Don through Krasnodar and Novorossiysk to Sochi. In 2010 the Blue Corridor participants started in Moscow, rode through Ryazan, Penza, Ulyanovsk, Togliatti, Naberezhnye Chelny, Kazan and finished in Nizhny Novgorod. The 2011 Blue Corridor route included 11 cities: Yekaterinburg – Chelyabinsk – Ufa – Orenburg – Samara – Saratov – Volgograd – Voronezh – Tambov – Tula – Moscow. It continued more than 2 weeks from October 19 to November 2. Its length amounted to approximately 3,600 kilometers. Currently, it is the longest motor rally conducted by Gazprom.
The main feature of Blue Corridors is participation of factory manufactured vehicles only in comparison with analogous events in the times of the USSR, participants of which were foremost converted vehicles. The motor rally idea is simple and efficient at the same time. According to Gazprom’s data, NGV fuel sales grew to 17 per cent after a while in those cities and regions where the Blue Corridor had taken place.