OREANDA-NEWS. Sergey Kogogin, General Director of OJSC KAMAZ, participated in a meeting regarding the cooperation of Gazprom and subject of the Russian Federation in the expansion of regional NGV markets.

The meeting which took place at the Gazprom headquarters was held by Viktor Zubkov, Chairman of the Gazprom Board of Directors – Director General of Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo. Top managers of Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo, representatives of the Russian Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Agriculture, regional power officials from a number of Russian federal subjects, and others participated in the meeting. KAMAZ was represented by Sergey Kogogin, the company’s General Director, and Rafael Batyrshin, General Director of KAMAZ’s distributor of NGVs – OOO RariTEK, at the meeting. The top manager of the Kama automobile plant addressed the participants of the meeting on KAMAZ vehicles running on natural gas and their operation. He presented a model range of KAMAZ vehicles and disclosed potential of innovative gas-engine vehicles. At the same time, Mr. Kogogin clarified that, with a comprehensive approach to the large-scale introduction of gas-engine KAMAZ vehicles, a customer is offered to service such vehicles at KAMAZ maintenance centers. The company has got over 150 such centers; therefore it will require minimal capital investments.

The Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo Board of Directors has approved a 2013-2014 natural gas vehicle expansion program worth RUB 13.8 billion. According to Mr. Zubkov, the funds will go toward the construction and upgrading of over 300 NGV facilities in 31 Russian territories. In the first place, it concerns CNG filling stations as well as motor vehicle conversion shops and maintenance centers. The document provides for purchasing 26 mobile gas filling trucks. In addition, the Investment Program accounts for the funds to be allotted to building and upgrading CNG filling stations as part of the 2013 Russian Regions Gasification Program (RUB 1 billion).

Thus, Gazprom is taking large-scale efforts to expand the NGV fuel market in Russia. However, according to Viktor Zubkov, its success largely depends on the work being done by regional authorities, in the first place, to convert public motor transport to natural gas as well as to adopt regional laws promoting NGV equipment purchase and use and, in particular, stipulating temporary abatement or nullification of the transport tax rate for gas-powered vehicles. “Assistance in land allocation for the construction sites of future stations is also greatly important,” Viktor Zubkov noted.

Besides, some experts say that it is economically more effective to purchase new vehicles with installed gas equipment than to reequip old ones, besides they are paid back much faster because of a low cost of gas fuel. The production of vehicles and buses running on compressed natural gas has already been mastered at KAMAZ, and with sufficient volume of production the company is ready to equip all its service stations with NGV maintenance centers.

The participants were instructed at the end of the meeting to work out the relevant regional programs for the NGV market development, including the synchronization of work done by regional authorities to convert vehicles to natural gas and the construction and implementation of NGV infrastructure by Gazprom.