EghtesadOnline: Natural gas grid in western Kurdistan Province has expanded 300 kilometers over the past five months, managing director of the provincial gas company said.
"Of the total extension, 120 kilometers of pipelines were laid in less than a month in the rugged mountainous province where temperature drops to -20°C," Ahmad Felegari was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Total length of the grid in the province of 1.6 million people now exceeds 11,500 kilometers supplying gas to 31 cities and 1,177 rural areas.
Felegari said 95% of the population has access to piped gas and 326 industrial units are linked to the grid, which helps save 29 million liters of liquid fuel per annum, Financial Tribune reported.
"Until the recent past cities like Baneh, Marivan and Saqqez did not have enough gas because of technical constraints," he said. Extension of the grid has solved the gas pressure reduction problems, especially extreme weather in the winter seasons.
The Marivan-Saqqez pipeline is a branch of the Sixth Iran Gas Trunkline (IGAT-6) with a capacity to transfer 110 million cubic meters of gas per day from South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf to the southern and western regions, namely Kurdestan and Kermanshah.
According to the official, most of the infrastructure is in place for exporting 8 mcm of gas per day from western Kurdestan Province to Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
Turkey and Iraq are the main buyers of Iranian gas. The former signed a 25-year deal in 1996 to buy 10 billion cubic meters of the fossil fuel from Iran annually through a pipeline and the latter is importing 12 million cm/d from June 2017.
According to BP Statistical Review of World Energy, Iran holds 34 trillion cubic meters of natural gas that is 18% of the world proven reserves. But it is not a major player when it comes to gas export as bulk of the gas is consumed locally.
Located in the west of Iran, Kurdistan Province is home to 211 sites of historical and cultural significance. For instance, Hajar Khatoon Mosque in the provincial capital Sanandaj and Qaleh Kohneh in Bijar date back to the Sassanid era (224-651 AD).
Two sites—the village of Uraman and Karaftou Cave—are on UNESCO's Tentative World Heritage List.