Representatives of the State Duma of Russia, interested companies, and researchers took part in a business meeting held on November 21 to discuss the development of liquefied natural gas as a vehicle fuel, including its production, applications, storage and advantages. The Belarusian State Concern for Oil and Chemistry (Belneftekhim) chairman Igor Zhilin believes that this clean alternative has a future in the region.
During his speech, the executive highlighted that CNG has been already introduced in Belarus vehicles; to achieve the goal of using LNG in the same segment, vehicles have to be adjusted to the system and market conditions to sell the fuel have to be set. “Belneftekhim has factories capable of liquefying natural gas”, he added, according to a report published by Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA).
First Deputy Chairman of the Natural Resources, Nature Management and Ecology Committee of the State Duma Valery Yazev pointed out: “In my opinion, this meeting reflects the trends going on in the world because the grand project for the transition of automobiles to natural gas requires the combination of all the potentials and the creation of a vast market with common standards, unified regulations, and universal equipment. Only then the effectiveness and viability of the fuel will be secured. Serious state support is needed to implement the project”.
In May 2013, Belarus launched a state action plan to switch mass transit and municipal vehicles to natural gas, including the installation of a refueling and service stations network. Plans have been made to start manufacturing automobiles and buses powered by natural gas as well as special fuel equipment for vehicles conversion. In early September 2013 the natural gas-powered bus MAZ-203965, which was designed by Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ) and Gazprom Transgaz Belarus, hit the streets of country’s capital and largest city.