Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Basic Element Company Oleg Deripaska and Rosneft President Igor Sechin have agreed on their companies’ cooperation in expanding the use of auto gas fuel (compressed natural gas or CNG) in Russia. A memorandum to that effect was signed between Russian Machines Corporation, a part of Basic Element business group, and Rosneft Oil Company.
The parties agree to interact in production and distribution of auto gas fuel for various categories of automobile transport in the Russian Federation, in particular in the Moscow and Leningrad Regions, in the Krasnodar Territory and along major Europe-bound auto routes.
According to the memorandum the parties intend to establish a joint operating company for project implementation. Within the framework of cooperation Rosneft will study the possibility of placing CNG filling modules at its own filling stations and connecting the modules to gas pipelines (natural gas supply network). Russian Machines, in  turn, plans to develop technical solutions for integration of auto gas filling modules with Rosneft infrastructure and will execute a program to supply gas-powered vehicles to domestic automobile fleets.
GAZ Group auto making holding, a part of Russian Machines Corporation, is Russia’s leading manufacturer of gas-powered vehicles: it has been producing LiAZ buses working on CNG (methane) since 2006, LPG GAZelle-business LCV since 2010, EEV LiAZ-5292 since 2011 and in 2013 will commence  starting production  of gas-powered PAZ-3204 and KAVZ-4238 medium-size buses. In February 2013 Gorky Automobile Plant built a pilot batch of pre-production bi-fuel GAZelle-Business light commercial vehicles (gasoline and CNG).
Commenting on the agreement, Oleg Deripaska, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Basic Element Group, said:
“The mission of Basic Element’s machine building business is to support economical and environmentally friendly passenger and freight transportation in Russia. Cooperation with Rosneft oil company will enable us both to give a new impetus to inland transportation development and create a fleet of gas-powered buses and light commercial vehicles in Russia. Conversion of transport vehicles to economical auto gas fuel will also become a major factor boosting competitiveness of individual businesses and the country’s economy as a whole”.