A Gazprom delegation headed by Vyacheslav Mikhalenko, Member of the Management Committee, Head of Department, took part in the keel-laying ceremony for Chaika LNG, the first passenger ship in Russia to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The event was held at the shipyard of Zelenodolsk Plant named after A.M. Gorky in Zelenodolsk, Republic of Tatarstan.
The ceremony was also attended by Rustam Minnikhanov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Yury Kostin, Director of the Department of State Policy for Maritime and River Transport at the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, Andrey Dmitriev, Director General of Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo, Ivan Egorov, Director General of Ak Bars Holding Company, and Alexander Karpov, Director General of Zelenodolsk Plant named after A.M. Gorky.
The Chaika LNG leisure and sightseeing boat (motor ship) is intended for passenger voyages, including via tourist routes. The vessel, which can accommodate at least 170 people, is expected to be launched as early as this year.
The use of natural gas in river and maritime transport is a new segment of the NGV market. Today, LNG is the most promising motor fuel for waterborne transport and the most affordable alternative to bunker fuel oil and diesel fuel.
The Republic of Tatarstan is a unique location from a logistics standpoint, and it has robust transport potential in terms of cutting-edge industrial technologies. It is planned that the region will produce LNG-powered tourist ships and Gazprom will be responsible for refueling said ships.
Vyacheslav Mikhalenko and Rustam Minnikhanov held a meeting in Zelenodolsk on the development of the NGV refueling network in the Republic of Tatarstan.
It was noted that the number of NGV refueling units in the region has doubled to 20 since 2016, including the CNG filling station built in Almetyevsk in late 2019. The amount of gas consumed as a vehicle fuel is growing in Tatarstan: in 2019, consumer sales of gas went up by 39 per cent from 2018 and by 70 per cent from 2017.
This year, Gazprom plans to build two new CNG stations in Zainsk and Nurlat, as well as to renovate and upgrade a CNG station in Buinsk. The Company is considering the possibility of constructing a number of other NGV refueling units in Tatarstan. Meanwhile, efforts are underway to set up infrastructure for LNG production and refueling of road and waterborne transport.
The production and marketing of natural gas (methane) as a vehicle fuel is a strategic activity of Gazprom. A special-purpose company, Gazprom Gazomotornoye Toplivo, was established for ensuring the continuous development of the NGV market.
Zelenodolsk Plant named after A.M. Gorky is one of Russia’s largest shipbuilding companies. The Plant has produced more than 1,500 maritime and river vessels.
Gazprom and Zelenodolsk Plant named after A.M. Gorky signed the Action Plan for the pilot project to build LNG-powered river vessels in October 2019.
In June 2019, Gazprom and the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan signed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum the Agreement on the implementation of two investment projects, namely the construction of a liquefied natural gas complex and the creation of a network of CNG stations in the Republic of Tatarstan.