Russian Gas Leader Promotes Agricultural Use, Silk Way Rally
Russia’s Gazprom is increasing its promotion of natural gas for new applications, promoting the clean fuel for agriculture, for the international Silk Way Rally from Moscow to Astrakhan, and as a centerpiece of heightened cooperation with Shell.
Gazprom brass including board of directors chairman Viktor Zubkov and management committee chair Alexey Miller figure in recent announcements.
Executives of Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo (Gazprom Motor Fuel, a new business unit dedicated to NGVs), representatives from the Russian ministries of agriculture and energy, regional power officials, manufacturers of agricultural products and equipment, and financiers met with Zubkov “to address development prospects for the NGV market within the agricultural sector as well as the gas filling infrastructure.”
Money Available to Cut Ag Fuel Costs by a Third
Gazprom said that it is taking “large-scale systemic measures for advancing the Russian NGV market… Russia, being one of the world’s largest grain sowing and grain processing regions, has a unique agricultural potential.
“The future of the Russian agriculture lies in the use of high-performance and cost-effective technologies,” Gazprom says, and “the experience of agricultural companies presented at the meeting showed that conversion of trucks and buses to natural gas reduced their operating costs by one third.
“The payback period for investments in conversion was only 6 to 9 months.”
“We are ready to provide the necessary financing to start designing new CNG filling stations in the current year in addition to those we have already planned out,” Zubkov said. “This can be done along grain transportation corridors, near large factories which are ready to purchase gas-fired equipment.”
Kamaz in the Silk Way Rally
Gazprom’s goal is to replace 20% of the conventional fuel used in the agricultural sector with NGV fuel by 2030. “The coordinated actions of all the market players are necessary to unlock the full potential of NGV fuel,” the company said.
In a lighter vein, Gazprom has released information on the 2013 Silk Way Rally, a 2,546-mile race (with more than 1750 miles off-road) from Moscow to Ashkhabad, in southern Russia on the Caspian Sea, an event with a history of Gazprom sponsorship.
Gazprom management committee chair Miller met with race participants, among them his press secretary Sergey Kupriyanov. A Kamaz truck was customized with Gazprom’s assistance to promote natural gas use as a vehicle fuel.
Lots of Potential with Shell
The gas equipment installed in the Kamaz vehicle suffered no malfunctions, Gazprom reports. “Despite great vibrations we had no problems with gas feeding,” Kupriyanov said. “The truck ran smoothly.”
The Kamaz team finished ninth in the overall ranking of 26 truck vehicles.
Gazprom also reports that Alexey Miller met with Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser last week to discuss bilateral cooperation in the oil and gas sector, “including exploration, extraction, processing, LNG production as well as oil and gas sales in the global energy market.”
In addition to the liquefied natural gas business, the two organizations will consider joint activities for Russian Arctic shelf development, “deep-water developments in third countries,” and shale oil exploration and development in the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous area.
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Source: Gazprom releases with Fleets & Fuels follow-up