Joint Project Opens First CNG Fuel Station in Kazakhstan

July 20. NGV Global

Joint Project Opens First CNG Fuel Station in KazakhstanA compressed natural gas fuelling station has been opened in a municipal vehicle park of  Almaty city, marking the formal launch of the joint project of KazTransGas and BG Kazakhstan on converting Almaty municipal vehicles to CNG. Minimal capacity of the first CNG station in Almaty and in the Republic of Kazakhstan is about 1200 cbm of gas per hour, maximal – 2000 cbm per hour. The station will serve up to 240 buses. The implementation of the project is the result of the Memorandum signed by Akimat of Almaty (Office of City Mayor), KazTransGas and BG Kazakhstan. According to the Memorandum, Akimat of Almaty will purchase 200 natural gas buses — an order for 200 Daewoo natural gas powered buses has now been placed — and while KazTransGas and BG Kazakhstan will build a CNG station.

The role of BG Kazakhstan, part of the BG international energy group from Britain, in construction of this station consisted in procurement of the equipment (compressors, storage cylinders, dispensers), its installation and advising KazTransGas on operational safety. KazTransGas fully financed the construction of the station and will operate it with the help of highly qualified personnel. The joint investments into the CNG station construction totaled to approx. 600 million tenge (USD 4.06 million).

KazTransGas (KTG) was established in 2000 to regulate the gas sector in Kazakhstan and provide corporate management services in gas exploration, production, transportation and distribution KTG is a part of national oil and gas company KazMunayGas.

The CNG station in Almaty and the entire program on conversion of Kazakhstan vehicles to compressed natural gas is not only commercial but also a social project as it aims at mitigating detrimental ecological impact of the traffic on the environment and as a consequence to minimize harmful emissions which affect the people’s health, especially the health of children. As an example, today up to 90% of all harmful emissions released into the atmosphere of Almaty are due to motor transport operating on diesel and petrol. The conversion of motor vehicles to natural gas will significantly improve the environmental situation in the city.

The safety at the CNG station itself is ensured by a number of factors: compressors installed at the station are manufactured at the Italian Dresser Wyner Pignone factory, which is recognized as one of the European leading manufacturers of gas compressors; compressors were installed and operated in compliance with international standards; and BG Kazakhstan nominated an international technical expert to advise over the equipment operation.

The opening of the CNG station marks the beginning of a major project, entitled “Concept on Expansion of CNG as a motor fuel for 2010-2015?, aimed at converting Kazakhstan’s vehicle fleet to compressed natural gas. This Concept,  developed and approved by KazTransGas, envisages conversion of Kazakhstan’s 50,000 vehicles to CNG. Up to 100 CNG stations will be constructed to maintain/fill such vehicles country-wide. Investments within this 5-year period will total to KZT 20 billion (USD 135.5 million).

Seeking to improve the country environment and to encourage conversion of private car owners to CNG the companies are seeking to involve the government by offering to adopt an official state program, which envisages a number of preferences including changes into the taxation system in favor of owners of transport vehicles and bus/ taxi fleets using CNG as a fuel for their vehicles.