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    Novatek Launches Small-Scale LNG Plant in Urals


Gazprom is by far the biggest supplier of gas as vehicle fuel in Russia, but Novatek and Rosneft also want a slice of the market.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Novatek Launches Small-Scale LNG Plant in Urals

Russia's largest private gas producer Novatek has brought on stream a small-scale LNG plant in the Urals region of Chelyabinsk, it announced on August 26.

The 40,000 mt/yr plant in Magnitogorsk has commenced pilot production, Novatek said. Its output will be primarily sold as motor fuel in Chelyabinsk and the surrounding area.

"The use of LNG as a motor fuel is strongly supported by Novatek," CEO Leonid Mikhelson said in a statement. "This represents a promising market segment that we are actively developing both in Russia and abroad."

Using LNG in vehicles can significantly reduce emissions and lower fuel costs, he said. Novatek on August 25 unveiled new targets for reducing the environmental impact of its operations, in line with Paris Agreement goals.

Russia is looking to expand to market for gas as a vehicle fuel, having recently approved a joint subsidy programme with Gazprom to support vehicle owners that want to switch from diesel or petrol. While Gazprom is by far the market's biggest supplier, Novatek and Rosneft are also looking to build up their positions.

The Magnitogorsk plant was designed by Russian cryogenics tech firm Geliymash, Novatek said.