President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Zubkov, you promote natural gas engine fuel everywhere, at all venues.
Gazprom Chairman Viktor Zubkov: I do.
Vladimir Putin: Let us discuss this.
Viktor Zubkov: I must say that while implementing your instructions, Gazprom carried out a lot of work to promote the production and sale of natural gas as engine fuel.
First, we established Gazprom Gas Engine Fuel. Over these years, the legislation was amended and the government adopted several documents that help us work more effectively in this area today.
Key indicators on the development of the natural gas engine fuel market: we began four years ago, and there were 213 filling stations; this year, there will be 352, and 405 in 2020, or more than twice more. Gas selling via the HMS network is another important indicator: 406 million before, there will be 900 million this year, and a billion cubic metres of gas will be used by transport in 2020. This is a good indicator.
Vladimir Putin: The state price regulation was cancelled, so the situation has changed.
Viktor Zubkov: Yes, the situation has immediately changed. Industry's response was excellent.
Today we have 127 types of lorries that can use natural gas, such as road equipment, combine harvesters and tipper trucks, as well as 43 types of passenger transport such buses and microbuses. Special equipment, commercial transport, four automobile models so far: Lada Vesta, Lada Largus, UAZ Patriot, UAZ Pickup. The development here has been good, too.
Vladimir Putin: Gas engine fuel is still significantly less expensive even though state regulation was cancelled.
Viktor Zubkov: Cheaper, yes. Approximately 16–18 rubles for one unit today. We can see that diesel and petroleum cost 46–48 rubles, so it is almost 2.5–3 times cheaper. This is very profitable, and also more environmentally friendly.
We work closely with the regions; 61 agreements have been concluded. This work is underway with each of the regions. We are actively developing a network in 17 regions today.
Two pilot projects. In Rostov Region, there were 11 filling stations last year, while in 2021, their number will increase to 39. The same goes for Belgorod Region: there were four filling stations, and we will build another 23 stations. That is a lot of work.
Vladimir Putin: This is probably the most important issue – a network of filling stations, the most problematic one.
Viktor Zubkov: The network of filling stations is developing. This year we set the task to build 100 filling stations, so this is a very good result.
We helped to provide transport for fans at the World Cup.
We consider the work on small-scale LNG stations important. LNG stations have already been put into operation in Kaliningrad, Peterhof and Yekaterinburg. We also plan to open seven stations: Konakovo, Baltiisky, Obskaya, Noyabrskaya, Surgut and Tobolsk. These are mostly for refueling large-capacity vehicles that carry cargo over long distances. They will run on liquefied natural gas.
Great opportunities are opening up for using LNG in water transport. The convention sets out strict requirements in the Baltic: the use of ships running on fuel oil is prohibited. Therefore, as I have previously reported, the construction of small-scale LNG stations will allow for refueling bunkering points, refueling vessels that can also use liquefied natural gas.
There is good experience of using LNG in railway transport. (The total number of main line and shunting locomotives should soon reach 86 units.) For this, LNG points will be built. The total demand for LNG will reach 300 million cubic metres by 2030.
Thus, today the state programme for the effective development of the gas engine fuel market is being implemented. The government is seeking funds to subsidise the construction of the gas filling network – 3.3 billion rubles this year. This decision was made at a meeting with First Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak. I think this is a very important decision.