28 Feb 2023 11:44

Kamchatka to encourage development of stagnating natural gas fuel market - authorities

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY. Feb 28 (Interfax) - The development of the natural gas motor fuel market in Kamchatka Territory is stalling because people do not know how the equipment works and are not prepared to convert automobiles to this fuel, but the region can support vehicle owners with subsidies, Governor Vladimir Solodov said in an interview with Interfax.

"Gas motor fuel is an important priority for us. I believe that there is great potential here and serious efforts need to be made to develop this area. But I can't say that I am currently satisfied with the development of the gas motor fuel market in the region," Solodov said.

"There is currently only one gas filling station in Kamchatka; a second one is supposed to open in 2023. The effect of the fact that people do not know how this equipment works, do not trust its reliability and do not venture to convert cars is contributing to the delay in development," Solodov said.

The positive effect is evident from the bus fleet in the regional capital, where passenger buses run on gas, he said.

"A direct requirement was introduced where we only acquire natural gas buses for municipal or state funds. We manage to save half, sometimes even two thirds on fuel. Therefore, we will support this area," Solodov said.

"In 2023 we will introduce a subsidy. The regional budget will subsidize up to 30% of the cost of the equipment that needs to be installed on an automobile for it to operate on gas motor fuel. I'm confident that this will generate results and gas motor fuel will become the main one for Kamchatka transport," Solodov said.

It was reported earlier that Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo, the Gazprom division developing the natural gas vehicle (NGV) market, plans to expand its presence in Kamchatka. There are near-term plans to build the second NGV filling station in Yelizovo. The first station was opened in 2017 by Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk.