Daily GPI / NGI All News Access / Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV)

Clean Energy Unit Bids to Spark Russian CNG Growth

A Canadian unit of California-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. said Thursday it has inked an exclusive agreement with Russian Machines Corp. (RM) to provide compressed natural gas (CNG) equipment and expertise to bolster the alternative fueling infrastructure network in Russia.

Chilliwack, BC-based IMW Industries Ltd. has an exclusive distribution and customer care agreement to allow RM, which is part of the Basic Element Group, to distribute IMW compressors, CNG filling solutions, parts and maintenance/service throughout the Russian Federation. The largest global natural gas producer, Russia has about 200 natural gas fueling stations and 100,000 natural gas vehicles (NGV) currently.

Clean Energy officials said that the IMW-RM agreement supports a Russian decree last May calling for the conversion of 50% of public transit and other vehicles to run on natural gas by 2020 in cities of 1 million population or more.

RM's GAZ Group is the nation's leading maker of commercial vehicles, such as buses and light commercial NGVs and propane-powered vehicles. GAZ Group has about 65% of Russia's bus manufacturing market, producing both natural gas and bifuel (natural gas-gasoline) vehicles.

RM is also among the distributors named to provide CNG services in numerous markets surrounding Russia, such as the Ukraine, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

IMW already has a global presence with operations in 26 countries, including China where last year it inked an agreement with China Gas to supply the Chinese company with up to 416 CNG compressors for use in 310 CNG fueling stations (see Daily GPI, Sept. 3, 2013).

"The Russian CNG vehicle market holds tremendous potential and the market for quality compressor equipment is expected to rapidly increase," said Clean Energy CEO Andrew Littlefair, citing the proclamation last May by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. "[It] underscores the economic and environmental benefits a vibrant Russian CNG vehicle market would represent and we're eager to help this market succeed."

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