EghtesadOnline: Following the government last week to raise gasoline prices by 200%, compressed natural gas consumption has risen by 2 million cubic meters a day since Nov. 15, head of CNG department at the state-run National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company said.
“CNG consumption is growing rapidly and has surpassed 21 mcm/d, up 11%,” Hassan Qolipour was quoted as saying by ILNA. The figure is expected to exceed 24 mcm/d by the end of December, he added.
NIOPDC said on Nov. 14 midnight that subsidized gasoline would be sold for 13 cents a liter up to 60 liters for each car every month. Additional purchases will cost double.
Since last week close to 30,000 car owners have filled in a special form at NGVI.IR to have their vehicles converted to CNG hybrids at authorized centers, Financial Tribune reported.
“Of the 19 million vehicles in Iran, over 5 million have hybrid CNG engines. This is while the share of CNG in fuel consumption is 20%.”
More than $2.4 billion has been invested in Iran to expand CNG use in the last decade and contribute to the global effort to reduce the CO2 footprint.
Each cubic meter of gas is CNG is sold for 4,600 rials (3.5 cents), while a liter of subsidized gasoline costs 15,000 rials (13 cents) non-subsidized fuel costs 30,000 rials.
“Due to the large number of applicants, the authorized centers (supervised by NIOPDC and the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade) will follow the policy of first come, first served,” Ali Mahmoudian, head of Alternative Fuels Union noted, adding that much-needed parts and equipment to convert cars to CNG hybrids have been indigenized and centers will be working round the clock to meet rising demand.
Depending on the type of car and size of the CNG tank, owners will be charged between $300 and $400. There are close to 250 active conversion centers in the country and could rise to 380 on demand.
Iran is 5th in global CNG consumption. There are over 2,500 CNG stations across the country.
The US, European Union, Russia and China use 75 mcm, 45 mcm, 40 mcm and 25 mcm of the fuel daily An estimated 15 million CNG-run vehicles ply the roads in the world, of which 1.5 million are in Europe.