A ceremony marking the construction start of the first cryogenic filling station of Gazprom on the new Moscow – St. Petersburg highway (M11) took place today near Okulovka, Novgorod Region.
The event was attended by Vitaly Markelov, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Vyacheslav Petushenko, First Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Russian Highways State Company (Avtodor), Veronika Minina, First Deputy Governor of the Novgorod Region, and Mikhail Likhachev, Director General of Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo. Also present at the ceremony were participants of the Gas into Motors, the world’s longest rally for NGVs powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The cryogenic filling station will be used primarily for fueling heavy-duty trucks with LNG. It will be located at the premises of the Valdai mixed-use highway service area. Gazprom is constructing NGV refueling infrastructure along the M-11 highway (part of the North – South and Europe – China international transit routes) as part of the cooperation with Avtodor. A total of six cryogenic filling stations will be built there.
“The conversion of trucks to natural gas will help improve the environmental situation in transit cities and towns and cut down shipping costs due to fuel savings. Creating state-of-the-art gas filling facilities on the Russian part of the Europe – China transit route is a crucial task that Gazprom is focused on today,” said Vitaly Markelov.
The Gas into Motors NGV rally is sponsored by the largest energy majors in Russia, Kazakhstan, and China – Gazprom, KazMunayGas, and CNPC. Its 9,881-kilometer-long route mostly runs along the emerging international transit route entitled Europe – China. The rally commenced on September 4 in Rudong, China, and will conclude at the 8th St. Petersburg International Gas Forum in St. Petersburg.
The Europe – China international transit route is an ambitious integrated investment project spanning Russia, Kazakhstan, and China. It will be more than 8,000 kilometers long.
Efforts to create natural gas filling infrastructure along the Europe – China route are being taken as part of the cooperation between Gazprom, CNPC, and KazMunayGas. The respective memorandum was signed on October 5, 2017, during the 7th St. Petersburg International Gas Forum.
The Russian Highways State Company (Avtodor) was established in 2009. The company aims to expand the network of toll highways, attract extrabudgetary investments and develop the roadside service infrastructure. Avtodor is in charge of building the M11 Moscow – St. Petersburg highway and the Central Ring Road in the Moscow Region.
In October 2017, Gazprom and Avtodor signed the Action Plan (Roadmap) to develop the gas filling infrastructure along the federal highways under the responsibility of Avtodor.
Highway vehicles will be the key consumer of LNG on the M-11 highway. The projected highway traffic will be about 5,000 trucks a day, with some of them to be powered by LNG. According to expert estimates, the use of LNG instead of diesel fuel helps reduce fuel costs by 30–50 per cent. In Russia, the cost of LNG and diesel fuel for trucks per one kilometer of covered distance is RUB 8.9 and RUB 17.8, respectively.