Alexander Klimentyev, Adviser to the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) under the President of the Russian Federation, expert of the National LNG Association, told in a recent interview to the publication "Energy and Industry of Russia" about which areas of energy the role of liquefied natural gas will increase in the near future, and in which, perhaps, it will become a key one.
The biggest prospects associated with the use of LNG are opening up in the niche of gas-engine fuel. And we are talking here not only about the transfer of various types of motor transport to LNG, but also about the creation of entire gas—powered transport corridors - from ocean to ocean. "It is absolutely realistic to lay such a corridor from the Baltic to the Sea of Japan," Alexander Klimentyev believes. — Of course, it will be necessary to create additional low-tonnage LNG production projects, a network of gas stations. But there is already experience of such work.
The Magnitogorsk— Saint Petersburg corridor is actively operating. There are queues at gas stations. This suggests that infrastructure needs to be developed."
And experts of the ITMO Research Institute (St. Petersburg) pay attention to the prospects of switching to liquefied natural gas for public transport in large cities. The purchase of a large batch of LNG buses for the Northern Capital will fully justify itself both from an economic and environmental point of view, they believe.
The CO2 emissions generated by burning gas are nothing compared to the carbon footprint that diesel or gasoline leaves behind. In addition, LNG has a number of advantages over compressed gas. In particular, LNG refueling can be installed in the city, but compressed gas refueling is not,
since they are not so safe.
Experts call sea transportation another promising niche for using LNG as fuel. As of February 2022, 33 marine-class vessels operating on this type of fuel were operating or were at the design and construction stage in Russia. According to Alexander Klimentyev, in the Russian segment
existing and under construction LNG vessels include marine vessels of various purposes: oil tankers, icebreakers, ferries, including the well-known ferries "Marshal Rokossovsky" and "General Chernyakhovsky".
The transition of the Russian civil fleet to a cleaner type of fuel compared to diesel is underway, but not at a fast enough pace. Domestic vessels today can be refueled with LNG only abroad or run on alternative fuel. The same ferries "Marshal Rokossovsky" and "General Chernyakhovsky" can use
both liquefied natural gas and diesel fuel with a low sulfur content.
Nevertheless, according to the developed map of LNG projects, it is planned to build 19 oil tankers and six LNG icebreakers in Russia by 2029. A similar problem with the lack of bunkering points has developed in Russian river transport, the scope of which is characterized by seasonality and a shortage of LNG production points.
Where it is impossible to do without liquefied natural gas is in the gasification of Russian settlements. According to information released by Gazprom, the level of gasification in Russia was 73%. It is planned to increase it to 100% over the next 10-15 years. But according to experts, 80% of settlements can be gasified with the help of a pipe. The remaining 20% are remote, hard-to-reach areas where LNG cannot be dispensed with.
Thanks to the autonomous small LNG regasification complex, it is possible to obtain a stable energy supply in the most remote territories.
A small platform with a cryogenic vessel and evaporators can easily replace pipeline gas.
According to Alexander Klimentyev, LNG has special prospects in the Arctic zone. As an example, he cites a project in the Arkhangelsk region, where with the help of liquefied natural gas they want to provide energy to such remote territories as Mezen and the famous Solovki.
"Thus, it is possible to solve not only economic, but also, above all, environmental problems. Clean fuel — clean tundra and clean sea. "We are getting rid of the risk of oil spills," he says. "From this point of view, it is worth considering the issue of gasification of the entire Northern Sea Route and the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation." The National LNG Association has already developed the main provisions of the concept of gasification of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and, together with the regions, is developing a program for alternative gasification of this
In Yakutia, it is planned to gasify almost 30 villages of the republic by 2030 with the help of LNG and LPG. This is more than 2 billion rubles of investments from the regional budget. This was stated by the Head of the Republic Aisen Nikolaev during the round table "The role and place of liquefied gases in the implementation of the socially oriented gasification program of the Russian Federation" within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum.
"As part of the agreement with Gazprom PJSC, the southern regions of the republic will be gasified with pipeline gas. Development can proceed at a faster pace if we solve the issue of transport infrastructure. For further development, given the size of our region, autonomous gasification with liquefied gas is needed," Aisen Nikolaev said.
At the moment, a pilot project of autonomous gasification of the village of Kachikattsy is being implemented. The introduction of new capacities under the program will allow us to reach the production level of 50 thousand tons of LNG per year by 2025. And by 2030 – 500 thousand tons. Such a significant volume of consumption will be provided at the expense of heat supply facilities, gasification of villages, transport, including special equipment, railway and water transport and large-sized equipment of industrial enterprises, and exports.
In order to gasify the Russian Arctic, the participants of the Scientific and Educational Center "North: Territory of Sustainable Development" are developing a technological solution for the production of liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas. This work is carried out within the framework of the cluster "Integrated energy supply and new energy carriers". By 2024, it is planned to obtain full-cycle technologies adapted for low- and medium-tonnage applications in the Arctic and sharply continental climate, built on domestic equipment.