June 6, 2011 - 20:12 AMT
Number of natural gas vehicles in Russia increasing, Armenia ready to share experience
In 2008-2009, 18 cars exploded at gas-filling station in Armenia, two of which with deadly outcome.
Gazprom plans to amend the legislation in favor of natural gas vehicles. According to the company forecasts, by 2020 there will be about 30% natural gas vehicles in Russia. Besides, autonews.ru says that Gazprom considers it necessary to approve a governmental program on replacing petrol with natural gas. It is to include new legislation on energy safety and federal target programs on using natural gas vehicles in construction, agricultural and municipal transport industry.

Armenia, where majority of cars are fueled with natural gas, can share its experience with Russia. Nevertheless, it should be noted that safety norms are poorly observed at gas-filling stations in Armenia.

Technical Director of Argentine Eficoal company Aldo Damonte expressed his opinion on this issue saying that in contrast to all the other countries, where gas-filling is not allowed under pressure above 200atm, some Armenian gas-filling stations fill gas under pressure of 300atm, despite of the law passed in 2008.

The Argentinian specialist noted that in his country a new program is applied, which allows controlling the gas-filling process at all stations across the country.

According to Armenian expert Arthur Ghazaryan, a similar program will be submitted to the Armenian government in the near future. Implementation of the program in a gas-filling station will cost $2600.

Like petrol-filling stations, new sensors will be set at gas-filling stations of Armenia enabling drivers to control the volume of gas filled. It should be noted that the current sensors show wrong volume of filled gas when its temperature rises, while the offered devices will show the real volume of gas, regardless of temperature.

Moreover, safety rules are also violated on the gas-filling stations of Armenia, as no automatically shutting valves are set on them to control the gas supply. The cars are refueled from its front side all over the world, so that to the service station attendant could be safe in case of explosion, whereas in Armenia the cars are refueled from the back side, which had already resulted in a fatal accident.

In 2008-2009, 18 cars exploded at gas-filling station in Armenia, two of which with deadly outcome.

The volume of natural gas supplies from Russian Federation to Armenia in January-March 2011 increased by 6,7% as compared to last year and totaled 532.1 million cubic meters. 486.8 million cubic meters of natural gas was realized in the reporting period, that is 5,1 % lower than in similar period of last year.