Westport and Gazprom sign a deal
No, the two giants – one from the field of NGV technology and the other specialising in natural gas excavation and distribution – haven't merged. Instead they intend to work together in order to improve the NGV market in Gazprom home country, Russia. As for the Canadian partner of the venture, it will be actually represented by Westport Emer – an Italian branch created some time ago by the acquisition of the company Emer.
The cooperation aims at making natural gas a more popular motor fuel than it is today, in no small part thanks to a new factory of Emer-branded products that is to be constructed and launched as a part of the plan. Gazprom meanwhile will update and expand its 200 CNG and LNG stations in the short term and build 300 entirely new ones on top of that by 2020. The investment will be carried out across 31 of Russia's regions and the expected outcome is a boost of CNG sales from 0,4 billion cubic metres in 2013 to 10,4 billion cubic metres in 2020 and LNG sales from none in 2013 to 3,8 million tonnes in 2020.
Apart from erecting a factory, Westport Emer will provide know-how and technological solutions for automotive CNG/LNG system components and share experience and expertise from the field of stimulating market growth. Russia, in spite of sanctions imposed on it by western countries, still has huge prospects for growth not only in the NGV sector, but in new vehicle market in general (in 2013 2,2 million cars and light-duty commercial vehicles as well as nearly 120 thousand heavy-duty trucks and buses were sold there), so combining this vast potential with enormous natural gas reserves the country possesses could yield extraordinary results.
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