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Gazprom Eyes Vehicle Fueling Network in Belarus

Vehicles that have tanks and engine interfaces can use natural gas, which is less expensive than gasoline.

Gazprom is interested in developing a chain of compressed natural gas fueling stations for vehicles in Belarus, Alexei Miller, chief executive of the company, said Thursday, Interfax reported.

"Natural gas fuel is important for the consumer, because it costs, and will always cost, less than conventional fuel," he said during talks with the management of Belarussian pipeline operator Beltransgaz, a Gazprom subsidiary.

"We'll discuss these issues with Belarussian authorities," he said.

Miller said that Gazprom was interested in the construction of facilities to produce natural gas-powered vehicles in Belarus.

According to Gazprom data, there are about 5,000 vehicles in Belarus that run on natural gas. Beltransgaz operates 26 natural gas fueling stations that are able to fill 9,000 vehicles per day, representing 165 million cubic meters of gas per year.

For comparison, there are 86,000 vehicles in Russia that run on natural gas. There are 243 natural gas fueling stations, including 208 Gazprom stations, in the country, and last year they sold 361.6 million cubic meters of compressed natural gas.

Commenting on other issues, Miller said that Gazprom and Beltransgaz would prepare a plan to develop Belarus' natural gas pipeline network by November.

He also said that Russia and Belarus would create a unified natural gas supply and distribution system.

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