7 September 2012

Blue Corridor 2012 roundtable series launches in Moscow

В Москве состоялся первый круглый стол в рамках автопробега «Голубой коридор»

Blue Corridor 2012 roundtable series launches in Moscow


On 6 September, the Blue Corridor 2012 Natural Gas Vehicle Rally held its first roundtable event in Moscow during the tenth annual GasSUF-2012, an international exhibition of gas distribution technologies. Experts from Gazprom Group, E.ON Ruhrgas, the National Association for Natural Gas and companies active in gas technologies discussed the benefits of NGVs, innovations and challenges for natural gas vehicles and gas as motor fuel.

Dr. Diana Huster from the German Embassy in Russia described the government’s policy supporting the NGV sector. Now in Germany there are some 100,000 NGVs, and the government has an ambitious plan to increase this figure to 1.4 million by 2020. To promote increased development and use of NGVs, several financial motivations, like lower rates and special loans for enterprises, have been put in place. “The rally demonstrates development of cooperation between our countries. Key to success of the cooperation is permanent enhancement of infrastructure,” Huster said.

The companies who organized the rally shared Huster’s optimism. Reiner Hartmann of E.ON Ruhrgas AG noted that his company was one of the key pioneers of NGV development and is ready to share most advanced technologies with Gazprom. “We are at the turn of a golden era of natural gas as a motor fuel”, he said.

Gazprom’s Valery Matyushechkin noted that development of the NGV market needs special stimulating measures in organization, technology and finance as well as strengthening the legal basis. He said that Gazprom has decided to establish a special operating company for the gas motor fuel market. “In 10 to 12 Russian regions, Gazprom and local administrations signed agreements which stipulate synchronized construction of certain amount of gas stations and conversion of vehicles to gas fuel”, he added.

David Graebe of GAZPROM Germania GmbH said that Gazprom Group intends to increase its presence on the compressed natural gas (CNG) market by constructing additional gas stations in Germany and the Czech Republic. Gazprom Export, together with GAZPROM Germania, plans to develop the LNG market in the European transport sector as well as bunkering down on the Baltic and North Seas. “We have enough gas for everybody, and we are ready to develop this market”, he said.

Oliver Kuehner with Bauer Comp Holding GmbH added that use of gas as a motor fuel is economically sound. “The only opportunity in Europe is financial measures of support of NGV: both direct as indirect”. 

The development of this market is inevitable in the nearest years”, concluded Evgeny Pronin of NGV Russia.

This roundtable discussion in Moscow at the tenth annual GasSUF-2012 is the kick-off event for the 11-city tour of the Blue Corridor 2012 Natural Gas Vehicle Rally, which will promote the benefits of NGVs. On Saturday, 8 September, Blue Corridor’s NGV drivers will begin their drive across Europe, departing from Moscow and heading to the rally’s first stop in Belarus.

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