Gazprom LNG Technologies not to be limited to four LNG plants in Urals
MOSCOW. Nov 17 (Interfax) - The Gazprom LNG Technologies project will not be limited to the construction of just four liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in the northern part of the Urals, as was officially announced, the chairman of Russian gas giant Gazprom , Viktor Zubkov said.
The joint venture LLC Gazprom LNG Technologies was formed in July by LLC Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo and LLC GazKholodTekhnologiya. Gazprom said in the memorandum of its last bond issue that the venture is supposed to build four LNG plants by 2021 with combined capacity of 100,000 tonnes of LNG per year for gasification of railway services in Tyumen Region, Khanty Mansi Autonomous District and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District.
However, when asked by Interfax if this project will be limited to just the four plants in Tyumen Region, Zubkov said: "Not, not necessarily."
"We have especially created a company that is engaged in designing a network of small plants to produce LNG, and we will conduct this work. So far we're just determining the geography of these plants. But we believe that this could be not four, maybe eight or ten such plants throughout Russia. We will build a series of such small LNG plants, build LNG filling stations. This will be really great!" Zubkov said.
He said LNG could be used in long-distance automobile transport, such as on the Moscow-St. Petersburg highway, Central Ring Road and the Silk Road China-Europe highway, on marine transport and railway transport, particularly shunting locomotives and lines that are not electrified.
"But this requires manufacturers of engines for locomotives to make engines that run on gas, that would operate reliably for many decades. I've spoken with railway officials. They acknowledge that diesel engines need to be replaced with LNG, but diesel engines operate for 30-40 years and they operate well. And if our companies make such LNG engines, then of course we will convert locomotives to LNG," Zubkov told reporters.
Gazprom now has 260 automated compressed nature gas filling stations. "We at Gazprom have built 43 such new filling stations in the past two years. Our goal is to bring the number of Gazprom filling stations to 500 in the next few years. Thus, gas consumption at CNG filling stations could increase from 450 million cubic meters to 2.2 billion cubic meters," Zubkov said.
"Unfortunately, they're working at only 26% of capacity. We're currently working without any kind of profit, at a loss. We want our filling stations to be busier. The new filling stations that we're building are efficient, modern," he said.
Natural gas vehicles can be used in a wide range of fields, including passenger transport services, utilities and cars, he said.
"We are now working hard on preparing our filling stations to serve the  World Cup football championships in cities that will host matches. An additional 800 buses are supposed to be delivered to these cities," Zubkov said. Gazprom needs to build another 13 CNG filling stations for this project. A total of 49 CNG stations will be used to provide natural gas fuel for the World Cup.