Sector: CNG

Natural Gas Vehicles in Russia - strong start

If Russians decide to become involved into something, they use no palliatives, but go the whole hog instead. They go the extra mile to make their initiatives and endeavors look big, often bigger than similar ones with tradition. It was much the same with Russia's first NGV forum, which took place in Moscow on November 26, 2013.

The conference was divided into several panels, each of which was thorough and to-the-point in terms of subject matter. The titles demonstrate this clearly:

  • Making the switch to natural gas: prospects, opportunities and challenges,
  • Market leaders' views: adapting and capitalising on this future trend,
  • Manufacturing automotive parts for natural gas vehicles in Russia,
  • Creating the right infrastructure to sell natural gas fuel and servicing equipment.

Due to participation of NGV manufacturer representatives, panel two aroused our interest the most, so we allowed ourselves to devote most space to it.

Natural Gas Vehicles in Russia 2013 Forum© Adam Smith ConferencesGiven the Russian market's potential, no wonder all seats were taken

Speakers from Siemens, Gazprom, Russian Machines Corporation, KAMAZ, MAN Truck and Bus Russia and Iveco Russia discussed the potential of the Russian and global NGV market. Quite frankly, there's quite a bit to talk about given the market's vastness and low saturation. In fact, Russia alone is so huge and the demand so high that the rest of the world could easily be forgotten and put aside. NGV makers are fully aware of Russia's untapped potential, especially that the country (the world's largest in terms of territory) is perfectly self-sufficient as far as natural gas supplies are concerned. The line-up of natural gas-powered vehicles keeps expanding and Western companies (such as Iveco) built factories in the country to be closer to their customers and tailor solutions directly to their needs and expectations.

However, local moguls do all but sit on their hands. For instance, KAMAZ's line-up is truly impressive and ranges from truck tractors to buses to garbage trucks to dump trucks, with almost anythinh in between also available. Notably, Russian brands are widely recognizable and need little marketing support.

Sufficient time was also devoted to discussing matters such as manufacture of CNG system components. The appropriate panel featured representatives from companies specialised in developing efficient solutions (e. g. Bosch), component manufacturers (e. g. Schuler SMG, maker of composite CNG tanks) and complete system producers (Woodward Inc.). One thing is for certain: only a fraction of what was to be said was actually said, so everyone interested can already make preliminary plans for next year's edition of the event. As long as Russia is a major natural gas supplier, conferences like the Natural Gas Vehicles Forum will be hosted there.


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Robert Markowski
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