Kazan, the capital and largest city of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan, is to get a natural gas vehicle (NGV) makeover as part of the city’s preparations to co-host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. A meeting of the Board of Tatarstan’s Ministry of Transport and Road Building together with Maksim Sokolov, Russia’s Minister of Transport, confirmed the goal as one of several key projects for investment leading up to the event.
Rafael Batyrshin, Director General of the RariTEK company (OJSC KAMAZ’s distributor of gas-powered vehicles), demonstrated several models of series-produced gas-powered vehicles. The exhibits included a new product – the two-axle garbage truck CMZL-9G based on the KAMAZ-4308 gas-powered chassis. The net volume of its body is nine cubic meters, and the cruising range of this methane-powered vehicle is 300 km.
Also demonstrated was a CNG city bus NEFAZ-5299-30-31, now frequently seen on the streets of Tatarstan’s large cities, and a multipurpose road machine ED-405AG which can operate as a dump truck or street cleaner or sanding truck depending on the season.
The Board discussed the main development directions of the transport sector for the nearest five years. Lenar Safin, Head of Tatarstan’s Ministry of Transport, reminded the meeting the program of development of the CNG market till 2030 had been approved with the support of JSC GAZPROM in Tatarstan that year. Under the program, it is planned to convert half of public transport, one third of municipal vehicles and the same share of construction vehicles to natural gas. Tatarstan has already obtained 262 CNG buses for RUB 932.6 million (USD 28m), RUB 655 million (USD 19.7m) of which is a subsidy of the federal center.
At the meeting of the Board, Lenar Safin announced an economic effect from the use of gas engine buses. According to him, an analysis of their operation showed that total fuel costs had more than halved with the new CNG buses.
Tatarstan’s Minister of Transport outlined expected prospects from implementation of this program. “The fleet of vehicles running on gas motor fuel will be expanded,” Mr. Safin noted. “The volume of natural gas consumption will grow by 2.7 billion cubic metres, the volume of consumption of traditional fuels will reduce by 2.6 billion litres, and consequently, emissions from vehicles will decrease by 19 thousand tonnes a year by 2024.”