The use of natural gas in vehicles reigns supreme over conventional fuel sources in terms of cost, according to Denis Kornienko, deputy CEO of Gazprom Gas-Engine Fuel on Wednesday.
Kornienko's comments in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency came during the Blue Corridor Rally coordinated by Gazprom Export and Uniper and which started in Turkey on Aug. 29.
The European route of the Rally, which started in Istanbul, is focused on the newly developing natural gas segment on the European market - gas on transport, according to Gazprom Export.
Kornienko said that the main purpose of the Rally is to showcase to all consumers that natural gas is accessible globally and that any vehicle model can be purchased using this fuel, which comparative to conventional fuel cars is much cheaper.
"It's economical and has many benefits, and of course it's much more ecologically friendly than any other [fuel]," he said.
Turkey is the main target market for gas, the supply of which will be made through the TurkStream gas pipeline. After Turkey, Rally participants will proceed via the Balkans to Italy, Belgium, Austria and Germany.
The route of the Rally is symbolic in that it connects the start and ending points of the future Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream gas pipelines, with Istanbul being the 13th corridor, Kornienko explained.
"This year the TurkStream natural gas pipeline will begin operations - I think in December. It's very symbolic that this year we started our Blue Corridor from Istanbul in Turkey. It's one of the great transport projects using gas motor fuel that we can show," he said.
- The Blue Corridor Rally
Detlef Wessling, the head of technical cooperation of German energy company Uniper, also hailed the Rally now in its 13th year as a success in bringing public awareness to the use of natural gas vehicles, having received much positive feedback.
"First we started together Uniper and Gazprom to develop a gas market for natural gas vehicles in Russia. And then we thought about international rallies, and we came to Europe. So this is already the 13th international rally for CNG [Compressed Natural Gas]. The main purpose is to make the public aware of natural gas vehicle possibilities, meaning LNG [Liquefied Natural Gas] and CNG cars and trucks," Wessling said.
He underlined that LNG and CNG are much cleaner fuels than conventional sources and described this developing market as "hot business."
However, he urged that subsidies and tax support are needed for CNG and LNG trucks and cars.
"Our main argument is always that it is cleaner. We have to change and do something for the environment," he said.
To promote gas at the Rally, round table discussions and media events have been planned in Istanbul, Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Milan, Brussels, Vienna, Zwickau, Berlin, Lubmin and St. Petersburg.
According to Gazprom Export, representatives of the gas industry and transport companies, car manufacturers as well as officials, experts and journalists will gather to discuss the technological and legal aspects of the use of natural gas on transport, as well as the environmental, economic and social benefits of this type of fuel.
By Murat Temizer