Blue Corridor 2011 motor rally to embrace 11 Russian cities
Yekaterinburg hosted today the start of the Blue Corridor 2011 motor rally which is aimed to promote the use of natural gas as the most environmentally friendly and low cost motor fuel.
Only factory manufactured natural gas vehicles (NGV) participate in the motor rally. At the moment, the number of the motor rally participants totals 12 vehicles. Taking part in the run are KAMAZ trucks: a dump truck, a drop-sided truck, a cargo/passenger truck, two garbage trucks, a vacuum cleaning truck and a mobile natural gas refueling truck; NEFAZ urban and suburban busses, MAN busses; Samand and Volkswagen Passat passenger cars. A LiAZ bus, Mercedes E200 and Volkswagen Caddy passenger cars powered by natural gas will join the motor rally in Ufa.
The overall length of the Blue Corridor route (Yekaterinburg – Chelyabinsk – Ufa – Orenburg – Samara – Saratov – Volgograd – Voronezh – Tambov – Tula – Moscow) exceeds 3,570 kilometers.
Gazprom subsidiaries will organize exhibitions of natural gas vehicles along the route of the motor rally. Besides, round table sessions are planned with the representatives from the Russian Federation constituents to discuss the prospects for compressed and liquefied natural gas use and municipal transport conversion to natural gas. Following the round table sessions, the agreements of intent On Developing Regional NGV Fleet and NGV Infrastructure Facilities are expected to be signed between regional authorities and Gazprom subsidiaries.
The ceremonial finish of the Blue Corridor 2011 will take place in Moscow near the Gazprom headquarters on November 2, 2011.
The Russian fleet of natural gas vehicles amounts to some 86 thousand units (over 13 million units worldwide). At present, there are 249 CNG filling stations (206 of them are owned by Gazprom) in 58 regions of the Russian Federation. 345 million cubic meters of compressed natural gas were sold by Russian CNG filling stations in 2010.
Basing on results of the year 2010, the most developed regional markets are the Stavropol and Krasnodar Krais, the Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk and Tula Oblasts, the Republic of Bashkortostan with 41 per cent from the total volume of compressed natural gas sold in Russia in 2010.
Gazprom signed the Agreements of Cooperation with the Kaluga, Orel and Tambov Oblasts to use gas as a motor fuel. The Tomsk, Kostroma and Volgograd Oblasts endorsed the regional laws aimed at development of their local CNG markets.
At the moment, gas filling capacities are being promoted in Eastern Siberia and the Far East. CNG filling stations have already been built in Bratsk and Yakutsk. A methane filling station is being designed in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. In the nearest future CNG filling stations will be built in Khabarovsk, Blagoveshchensk, Vladivostok and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
One of the measures stimulating gas use as a motor fuel in Russia is the Government Directive on Urgent Measures Expanding Substitution of Motor Fuels with Natural Gas dated January 15, 1993. The Directive sets the maximum CNG price at the level of 50 per cent of the A-76 gasoline price.
In 2007 Gazprom approved the Targeted Comprehensive Program for the CNG Filling Network and NGV Fleet Development over 2007 to 2015.
In October 2011 the State Duma of the Russian Federation examined the draft Federal Law on NGV Fuel. The adoption of the document will help develop the Russian market of natural gas as a motor fuel.
The Blue Corridor 2011 is the fifth run of the motor rally. The previous runs took place in the following cities:
September 2008: Saint-Petersburg – Veliky Novgorod – Tver – Moscow;
April 2009: Rostov-on-Don – Krasnodar – Novorossiysk – Sochi;
September 2010: Moscow – Ryazan – Penza – Ulyanovsk – Togliatti – Naberezhnye Chelny – Kazan – Nizhniy Novgorod;
June 2011: Prague – Leipzig – Wolfsburg – Berlin – Greifswald.