In Russia, Gazprom and Volga Bus recently entered into a cooperation agreement to create and deploy a full range of modern natural-gas-powered buses as well as the formation of a favorable environment for developing the natural gas vehicle market in Russia. In addition, the parties agreed to elaborate jointly the relevant proposals for the federal and regional authorities.
According to the document, Volga Bus will organize the production of CNG buses, the service infrastructure, and the system of professional training and retraining of maintenance staff. The company will also coordinate the conversion of the production and technical base of organizations that purchase gas powered buses.
In its turn, Gazprom will arrange the construction of CNG infrastructure facilities in the areas where passenger vehicles are located in a space-saving manner and will organize testing of gas-powered buses with its subsidiaries. Acquiring buses for these companies, Gazprom will consider possibilities to buy the CNG buses manufactured by Volga Bus.
The Russian fleet of natural gas vehicles currently amounts to some 86,000 units, according to Gazprom. At present, there are 249 CNG filling stations (207 of them are owned by Gazprom) in 58 regions of the Russian Federation. Besides, a new CNG filling station is currently being built in the Kaliningrad Oblast. 345 million cubic meters of compressed natural gas were sold by Russian CNG filling stations in 2010.