The Russian stage of the international Blue Corridor – Gas into Engines 2019 Rally for vehicles powered by natural gas was launched today at the Russkaya compressor station (CS) in the Krasnodar Territory. Via a video link, the participants in the Russian stage of the race took over from the European-stage crews that had traveled 5,320 kilometers from Istanbul, Turkey, to Lubmin, Germany, between August 29 and September 20.
Taking part in the event via a video link were Vitaly Markelov, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, from St. Petersburg and Igor Fedorov, Managing Director of Gazprom Germania GmbH, from Lubmin. Oleg Melekhin, Director General of Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo, was present at the Russkaya CS.
The Russian section of the race is 2,760 kilometers long. Its route traverses the Krasnodar Territory and the Rostov, Voronezh, Belgorod, Moscow, Novgorod and Leningrad Regions. More than 20 cars, trucks and passenger vehicles powered by natural gas will cover the route. The refueling infrastructure includes 13 CNG filling stations of Gazprom.
The cities of Moscow, Belgorod and Rostov-on-Don will host thematic conferences, during which rally participants, representatives of automakers, government authorities, experts and potential consumers will discuss the prospects of the Russian NGV market.
The finish of the race will take place on October 3 in St. Petersburg. The closing ceremony will be among the key events of the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum.
Natural gas (methane) is the most cost-effective and eco-friendly motor fuel. Its average price in Russia is RUB 16 per cubic meter. It costs the drivers of methane-powered cars RUB 1.6 per kilometer driven. In terms of fuel consumption, 1 cubic meter of methane is equivalent to 1 liter of gasoline. Methane-driven vehicles have repeatedly proven their reliability during international long-distance auto races and sports competitions.
The Blue Corridor Rally was first held by the Gazprom Group in 2008. In 2010, Uniper joined the project as a co-organizer. Later, other members of the European and Russian natural gas and automotive markets joined the project as well. Since the launch of the Blue Corridor, more than 200 factory-built vehicles powered by CNG and LNG have traveled over 60,000 kilometers across 130 cities in 26 countries of Europe and Asia, from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
In the course of the European stage of the Blue Corridor – Gas into Engines 2019 Rally, some of Europe's largest cities along the race's route hosted 10 roundtables featuring over 600 representatives of the energy, political and business communities, and the media.
Uniper SE is an energy company focused on natural gas, power generation, and global energy trading.