EghtesadOnline: A new scheme has been designed jointly by the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company and the Ministry of Industries that calls for engines of 20,000 diesel-powered commercial vehicles to be converted into CNG-diesel hybrids. Vehicles to is to curb diesel consumption.
Director of the CNG office at NIORDC, Hamid Qasemi told IRNA that the plan will target heavy-duty vehicles used for public transportation in the major cities. He did not put a price tag on the interesting scheme.
In addition to curbing diesel consumption, the plan should also help reduce toxic emissions released by diesel engines seen as heavy polluters contributing to the worsening environmental degradation
The same plan was earlier implemented on a small scale in Qazvin Province and a pilot program will be carried out in the capital before it receives permits for nationwide implementation, according to Financial Tribune.
Launch of the project also involves upgrading the valves on engine heads and renovating pump nozzles at the gas pumps. "Everything is ready and 1,100 stations are on standby to offer services to heavy-duty vehicles that use CNG," Qasemi added.
CNG is projected to comprise up to 35% of Iran's total fuel consumption by the end of the Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2017-22), he was quoted as saying.
Privately-owned CNG stations charge customers 1,400 rials (9 cents) per cubic meter of CNG, while state-owned pumps sell the same amount of the same fuel for 600 rials (4 cents).
While Iran is slowly moving towards expanding the use of commercial vehicles running on natural gas, some countries have already taken a leap. Japan, Russia, China, Norway, and Argentina are among nations encouraging and promoting use of gas-powered vehicles.
According to the US Department of Energy, natural gas powers more than 160,000 vehicles in the United States and roughly 15.2 million vehicles worldwide.