Director for Gas-Engine Vehicles of KAMAZ PTC Evgeny Pronin delivered a report “Gas-Engine KAMAZ Vehicles – High Efficiency and Modern Production” at St. Petersburg International Gas Forum 2022 which finished in the Northern capital of Russia last Friday.
The presentation took place in the course of the plenary session “Gas Engine Fuel – a Reliable Solution in the Face of New Socio-Economic and Environmental Challenges”.
“Under the Russian program “Development of the Gas-Engine Fuel Market”, there are basic terms created for transition to large-scale use of natural gas as vehicle fuel. We have accumulated experience enough to prove soundness and efficiency of this type of fuel. Under current conditions, its use is much-needed, because it can ensure a significant growth of domestic natural gas consumption, apart from solving tasks to improve the environment and reduce transportation costs,” noted the speaker.
As an example, the speaker gave an option of replacement of 10% of long-haul truck tractors with gas-engine ones. In this case, fuel costs will make about 60 bn roubles, annual consumption of natural gas will exceed 3.5 bn cubic meters, while releasing 2.5 m tonnes of diesel fuel worth 107 bn roubles for export. As for environmental issues, about 1 m tonnes of CO2 emissions are to be reduced every year. It is also important that in current conditions it is not needed to lower the emission class of vehicles produced, due to a simple engine design, a neutralization system and availability of necessary components.
Evgeny Pronin also informed that technical characteristics of KAMAZ gas-engine vehicles are currently on a par with those of diesel ones. Thus, whereas a 12-liter KAMAZ engine generated only 240 hp several years ago, now a new R6 gas engine of the same working capacity has a power of 450 hp. The use of LNG on a gas-motor tractor ensures the range comparable with that of its diesel analogue. An additional advantage is a simple exhaust gas post-processing system of a dual-filter type located right in an exhaust silencer. As a result, it is 205 kg lighter than the diesel engine system with AD Blue fluid and doesn’t need service maintenance.
“Gas-engine vehicles and buses are already ordinary series products for KAMAZ. The company is producing a line almost fully equivalent to a diesel one, both with compressed and liquefied natural gas on board at that. The company created mass production of the widest range of vehicles and buses running on compressed and liquefied natural gas. Notable is that high performance was achieved due to the fact that gas-engine vehicles are made in a single technological flow alongside with diesel vehicles, only gas equipment is installed in a separate building. The plant has its own mobile CNG and LNG fueling stations used in a manufacturing process and for vehicle fueling before shipment to customers,” said the manager.
He also noted that new circumstances related with Western sanctions hadn’t significantly affected the KAMAZ NGV production. To date, a gas V-type 12-liter KAMAZ engine is mass produced. Next year will see the launch of production of an in-line 13-liter 450hp gas engine of the new generation R6. Russian producers have traditionally been supplying a whole set of components for KAMAZ NGV production. As for imported items, timely efforts have been taken to replace most of them with Russian-made analogues in current conditions.
As the expert stressed, new technologies are also necessary for the technical maintenance of gas-motor vehicles which have a number of peculiar features. KAMAZ completely perfected and standardized the process design, determined the composition of equipment and tools, organized mass teaching in well-equipped classrooms. The company is currently preparing dealerships for maintenance of gas-engine vehicles countrywide.
“Our experience confidences that natural gas is already a full-fledged alternative to traditional fuel. KAMAZ gas-powered vehicles are being produced at a good pace, and the fleet of vehicles and buses running on natural gas made at the enterprise numbers over 17 thousand units. In 2021, KAMAZ NGVs consumed 400 m cubic meters of natural gas. To develop the line of NGVs is still our company’s priority strategic activity,” Evgeny Pronin summed up.