October 3, 2019. During the year 2019, Russia has been experiencing a stage of accelerated development of natural gas as fuel for vehicles. This strategy aims to increase the competitiveness of the transport industry, in addition to improving the environmental situation.

In this way, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Kozak, explained the vision that this country has to take advantage of its comparative and competitive advantages. The official led the industrial meeting on “Accelerated development of infrastructure: strategy for the development of the fuel market for natural gas engines”, which was held within the framework of the 3rd Russian Energy Week in Moscow.

A large-scale pilot project was completed in 2013-2018, said Deputy Prime Minister Kozak. This initial stage resulted in numerous open gas stations throughout the country. Now, vehicles that run on CNG are a pillar in the public services sector and public transport.

“Currently, a fully functional program has been developed. It includes a roadmap and financing parameters for 27 regions until 2024. We are planning to implement the cluster approach geographically step by step,” he said.

The first pilot area will include the regions of Nizhny Novgorod (in western Russia), Belgorod (north of the border with Ukraine) and Rostov (important tourist center located on the shores of Lake Nero). After the initial stage, the program will be expanded, the senior official explained.

“Over the next five years 50 billion rubles (700 million euros) will be allocated to renew the current fleet, expand the vehicle line, support the demand for gas-driven units and build new fuel stations,” added Anton Inyutsin, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.

Sergei Tsivilev, Governor of Kuzbass, shared the experience of expanding the natural gas powered fleet in this region of Russia. “There are huge 130-ton trucks that run on gas in Kuzbass. It already saved us 3.5 million rubles (about 50,000 euros). This is a significant improvement in cost savings and the environment. I am sure that these initiatives can be implemented throughout the mining and coal infrastructure,” Tsivilev explained. For his part, Vitaly Markelov, Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Gazprom Group, explained the scope of the objective of increasing the participation of natural gas fuel transportation in Russia. The expectation is that it will grow tenfold by 2024 and reach 7% of the market.