Global energy company Gazprom has announced plans to build two small-scale LNG production facilities to provide fuel for locomotives operated by Sverdlovsk Railway in Russia.
The firm signed a cooperation agreement with state rail operator Russian Railways, the parent company of Sverdlovsk, to support expansion of its fleet of LNG-fuelled trains in the country.
“The Implementation Program under the Agreement of Cooperation in the natural gas vehicle (NGV) sector was signed today... In accordance with the Program, Russian Railways plans to increase the fleet of mainline gas turbine locomotives and gas turbine shunters powered by LNG,” a spokesperson for Gazprom said.
The NGV agreement signed between Gazprom, Russian Railways, Sinara Group, and Transmashholding in 2016 and aims to promote natural gas use in railway and motor transport and facilitate NGV market growth.
Distribution stations in Tobolsk and Surgut
To support this growth Gazprom now aims to develop gas distribution stations in Tobolsk and Surgut, as well as platforms for mobile refuellers at the Voynovka and Surgut stations.
The new refuelling stations are designed to maximise the range of LNG-powered trains operating on the Sverdlovsk Railway network which comprises part of the Trans-Siberian Railway and covers the regions of Perm, Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, Yugra, and Yamalo-Nenetsregions.
Russian Railways is among the world's top three railway companies by size and its latest investments in LNG-fuelled assets have positioned it for further growth of its LNG fleet.
LNG fleet to hit 22 by 2023
With the growth of a nationwide refuelling network for LNG, Sverdlovsk Railway expects to increase its fleet of LNG-powered trains from the current three to as much as 22 units or more by 2023.
“Pursuant to the Program, manufacturers (Sinara Group and Transmashholding) will take measures to improve the designs of gas-powered locomotives. In addition, new series of gas-powered vehicles will be developed,” a Gazprom representative commented.
Sinara-Transport Machines is the machine building holding of Sinara Group focused on engineering, manufacturing and maintenance of railroad machinery. Transmashholding is a manufacturer of rolling stock for railways and public transport.