A meeting took place on 16 November at the Moscow office of Gazprom International between representatives of Gazprom and Gazprom International and partners from the Vietnamese company, PetroVietnam Gas South, a subsidiary of Vietnam's state oil-and-gas corporation, PetroVietnam.
The parties discussed the possibility of creating a joint venture for carrying out a project to develop a fleet of city buses fitted with a fuel system using compressed natural gas (CNG), and also constructing a network of gas refilling compressor stations in the largest city in southern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City.
At the instigation of the Vietnamese side, the project may have two phases. During the first phase (2012-2015), there are plans to provide the fleet of city public transport vehicles in Ho Chi Minh City with 840 modern buses, working on CNG, and to build
18 gas refuelling substations. The second phase (2016-2020) provides for the commissioning of 1796 buses and 37 substations, which, according to estimates by Vietnamese specialists, by that time will be servicing 50% of the city's needs.
It is expected that the project will be implemented under Gazprom's financial, technical and technological support. The volume of investment in the project may reach around $250 million.
The Vietnamese guests were received on the Russian side by: Valeriy Gulev (Managing Director of Gazprom International), Yuri Skok (the company's COO), Sergei Kozhevnikov (deputy head of the Department for Foreign and Joint Projects for the Development of Hydrocarbon Deposits and Gazprom's Gas, Gas Condensate and Oil Production Department), and Aina Makarova (head production engineer in Gazprom's Gasification and Gas Use Department).
The Vietnamese delegation was represented by Ha Anh Tuan (deputy director of PetroVietnam Gas South), Duong Hong Thanh (deputy director of the Transport Department for Ho Chi Minh City), and Phal Lac Duc (deputy head of the engineering and safe company investment department).
At the end of the meeting, Ha Anh Tuan said: "We hope that Gazprom is interested in our proposal and we are prepared to discuss further joint steps."
For his part, Valeriy Gulev offered to start bi-lateral expert consultations with the aim of subsequently developing a feasibility study, if appropriate.
PetroVietnam Gas South is engaged in the provision, transport and storage of liquid petroleum and compressed natural gas for industry, transport and civil facilities.
Ho Chi Minh Ciy (formerly Saigon), the largest cultural and economic centre in South Vietnam with a population of around 7.5 million people, is currently experiencing serious transport problems. The city's public transport provides only 10% of the population's needs: while there is swiftly growing demand, in the city there are currently only 2,950 buses, 50 of which run on gas.
CNG - compressed (condensed) natural gas - is used as a motor fuel instead of petrol, diesel fuel and propane. It is cheaper than conventional fuels, and the damage caused to the environment by its combustion products is substantially less compared to the usual types of fuel.
Gazprom and PetroVietnam have been collaborating since 2000: their joint operational company, Vietgazprom, in which the Russian side is represented by Gazprom International, has been engaged in the prospecting, exploration and development of hydrocarbon deposits in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam since 2002.