EghtesadOnline: Supplying natural gas to power plants, instead of liquefied fuels such as diesel and mazut, has not only curbed air pollution but also increased foreign currency revenues.
According to IRNA, air pollution has been an issue in the cold season in the past years, 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 make room for meeting power plants’ demand, according to Financial Tribune.
South Pars, which is known as the North Dome in the Qatari territory, is being developed in 24 phases.
Close to 550 million cubic meters per day of gas are currently extracted from the giant gas field.
In the same period, Iran has succeeded in meeting the domestic need for diesel and export the surplus production. This is while the country had to import the fuel until 2014-15.
According to Saeed Momeni, the deputy for gas distribution at the National Iranian Gas Company, Iran supplied an average of 200 million cubic meters of gas to power plants in the nine months to Dec. 21.
The official added that the country delivered 189 million cubic meters of gas per day to power plants in the same period of the previous fiscal that ended on March 20.
“The rise in supply of 4 billion cubic meters of gas to power plants has saved $1 billion,” he said, stressing that in the nine-month period, gas delivery to industries has risen to about 103 mcm/d of gas on average from 96 mcm/d in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, indicating a 6% increase.
Iran’s total consumption in nine month stood at 178 bcm, while it was at 167 bcm in the previous year’s similar period. The rise shows a 6.5% increase.
The country has the capacity to produce upwards of 800 million cubic meters 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.