As part of the business trip by Gazprom's delegation to the Republic of Belarus, a meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Company's Management Committee and Vladimir Semashko, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus took place.
The parties discussed promotion of the Russian-Belarusian cooperation in the gas sector, the prospects for developing the gas transmission system and underground gas storage facilities in the Republic as well as the ongoing integration of Beltransgaz into Gazprom Group. In addition, the meeting addressed various options of Russian gas transit across Belarus.
It was highlighted that Gazprom set the task of considerably expanding natural gas use as a motor fuel. With its multiple environmental and economic advantages NGV fuel is greatly important for the society.
Alexey Miller and Vladimir Semashko emphasized that there was a promising outlook for intense development of the NGV fuel market in the Republic. Conversion of vehicles and equipment to natural gas will provide significant cost savings to Belarusian car owners and producers as the NGV fuel value is much lower than that of gasoline and diesel fuel.
Based on the meeting results, the Government of the Republic of Belarus and Gazprom signed a Protocol of Intent on cooperation aimed at developing natural gas use as a motor fuel.
Natural gas use as a motor fuel is rapidly expanding around the world and nowadays involves more than 80 countries. The average annual increase in gas-powered vehicle fleet makes up 26 per cent. The world's leading vehicle producers turn out more than 80 models of gas-powered cars.
The Russian fleet of gas-powered vehicles numbers some 86 thousand units (global vehicle fleet is comprised of some 15 million units). Nowadays, 243 compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations are operating in 59 Russian regions, with 208 owned by Gazprom. In 2011, 361.6 million cubic meters of compressed natural gas was sold through Russian CNG filling stations, which is 16.6 million cubic meters more than in 2010.
The NGV fleet of Belarus numbers some 5 thousand units. Beltransgaz operates a network comprised of 26 stationary CNG filling stations with the capacity of 9 filling operations per day or 165 million cubic meters of CNG per year. In 2011 16.6 million cubic meters of CNG were sold.
One cubic liter of compressed natural gas (roughly equal to 1 liter of conventional fuel) costs 2,430 Belarusian rubles which is 2.7 times lower than the price of one liter of 95-octane gasoline and three times lower than the price of one liter of diesel fuel in Belarus.
Seven specialized sites and one cylinder test station were set up in Beltransgaz to provide conversion to gas, repair and maintenance of vehicles.