EghtesadOnline: Natural gas delivery to thermal power stations in the first four months of the current fiscal, started March 21, has hiked by 3.1% compared with the corresponding period of last year, director for technical support at the Thermal Power Plants Holding Company said.
"Currently, 95% of power plants, which is 80 out of 84 power plants, fully meet their fuel demand through natural gas," Gholamreza Mehrdad was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.
According to the official, except for the gas-fired Chabahar and Konarak power plants in Sistan-Baluchestan Province, Zarand Power Plant in Kerman Province and the mobile power plants in Behshahr and Noshahr counties in the northern Mazandaran Province, other power stations run on gas.
"Interruptions in the supply of feedstock force plants to use liquefied fuels, such as diesel," he said, adding that burning each cubic meters of eco-friendly gas is equivalent to a liter of environmentally-unfriendly diesel, Financial Tribune reported.
The official noted that thermal plants, including gas-fueled and combined-cycle ones, can use as much as 280 million cubic meters and 170 mcm of gas per day in summer and winter respectively.
He noted that a total of 66 million cubic meters of gas were delivered to domestic power plants during the past fiscal," he said, adding that gas consumption in the country's power stations has risen by 6.6% in the first four months of the current fiscal compared to that of last year.
On the power plants' fuel stock, the official noted that 46% of diesel (at 1.4 million liters) tanks and 77% of mazut (1.9 million liters) tanks are full.
"Except for environmental benefits, as long as power stations run on gas, maintenance cost will decline and efficiency will rise," he said.
--- Pollution Menace
Air pollution menace has been a thorny issue in the cold season in the past, as consumption of diesel and mazut increased in power plants. However, the current administration has followed a policy, based on which it substituted liquefied fuels with natural gas in the thermal power plants in the past five years.
Iran has abundant natural gas deposits and it is more cost-effective for the country to use gas for power generation instead of liquid fuels.
The government has managed to substantially raise gas production, especially in the giant South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf, to help meet power plants’ demand.
South Pars, which is known as the North Dome in the Qatari territory, is being developed in 24 phases.
Close to 550 mcm per day of gas are currently extracted from the giant gas field.
The country has the capacity to produce upwards of 800 mcm a day of gas, but most of its output is used to meet domestic demand.
Iran also supplies around 40 mcm/d of gas to Turkey and Iraq. Data show the oil- and gas-rich country is among the world’s top five consumers of the clean fossil fuel.