23 Apr 2024 20:47

Gazprom, AgMin draw up program for transition of agricultural transport to natural gas

MOSCOW. April 23 (Interfax) - Gazprom and the Russian Agriculture Ministry, which signed an agreement on cooperation in the use of NGV fuel in 2023, plan to set up a program for the purchase and conversion of agricultural vehicles and grain drying equipment to natural gas this year, the company said.

"The board of PJSC Gazprom took note of the information on further prospects of NGV fuel market development in Russia, including in the agricultural sector," the company said. "Given the already established refueling infrastructure and Gazprom's large-scale work on gasification of Russian regions, agricultural machinery is a promising area for expanding NGV fuel application. Work in this direction is already underway," Gazprom said.

In particular, with Gazprom's assistance, agricultural machinery manufacturers produced the first samples of natural gas-powered tractors and combines. As part of the cooperation agreement, the need of agricultural enterprises for 2024 in gas-powered vehicles for transportation of agricultural products has been determined. "To compensate agricultural producers for part of the costs of its purchase, the Russian Agriculture Ministry is working on the possibility of allocating subsidies," the statement said.

Currently, about 15,000 vehicles operate on NGV fuel in the agricultural sector. The Agriculture Ministry stated that this figure will increase, as operating costs in this case are 20% lower than for diesel counterparts. Besides, there is a great potential in conversion of tractors and grain drying complexes to gas motor fuel. In particular, in the field of grain drying, the number of potential consumers interested in converting complexes to gas exceeds 500, Deputy Agriculture Minister Andrei Razin said last fall.

According to Rosselkhozbank estimates, the transition to NGV fuel will reduce the fuel costs of domestic agricultural producers by 100 billion rubles per year.