EghtesadOnline: Iran plans to increase the share of compressed natural gas in its fuel mix, as the low-carbon and clean-burning fuel has saved billions of dollars by curtailing gasoline imports in recent years.
Mansour Riahi, the head of National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company, made the statement to ILNA on Saturday.
“We have invested about $3 billion in the construction of more than 2,400 CNG stations nationwide, while about $24 billion have been saved by consuming the clean fuel instead of importing gasoline,” Riahi said, without giving a timeframe.
The official added that Iran has consumed 81.3 million liters per day of gasoline on average in the current fiscal year that started on March 21. The production of the strategic fuel reached 65.5 ml/d in the period and about 15-16 ml/d of gasoline were imported to meet the rising domestic demand, according to Financial Tribune.
Referring to the deadly blaze at Tehran Oil Refinery on Friday which killed six people, Riahi said the incident did not affect the production and supply of gasoline.
Noting that Iran is the 10th biggest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, he said the country needs to further increase the share of environment-friendly fuels such as CNG in its energy mix.
CNG vehicles typically have 20% less greenhouse gas emissions compared with gasoline-powered cars.
Riahi said currently CNG has a 22% share in the Iranian fuel mix, which is planned to be raised to 35% in the next five years.
According to the official, Iranians have used 54.5 billion cubic meters of CNG since the beginning of the fuel’s distribution in Iran about 13 years ago. In the period, CNG consumption has witnessed a 53-fold increase.
Riahi also said without elaboration that investment in CNG production and supply chain "will shortly pay off" and encouraged domestic investors to shift their focus to developing the compressed natural gas market.
On CNG plans outside of Iran, he said that if the gas export barriers are removed, Iran can establish five CNG stations in Iraq in the first phase.
"Iran can cooperate with foreign companies on construction of CNG facilities and transfer of cutting-edge technology," he added.
Iran has the capacity to supply over 40 million cubic meters per day of CNG nationwide, nearly half of which is idle.