EghtesadOnline: Natural gas delivery to thermal power plants has halved with the aim of sustaining and stabilizing natural gas supply to households in the winter season, director for technical support at the Thermal Power Plants Holding Company said.
"National Iranian Gas Company has cut gas delivery to gas-powered power plants from 90 million cubic meters per day to 45 mcm/d," Gholamreza Mehrdad was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Record amounts of natural gas are used as snow falls and freezing temperatures sweep parts of the country, especially in the eastern and western regions, according to Financial Tribune.
“Gas supply through the national network has exceeded 773 mcm/d. This is the highest level of domestic gas distribution on record,” the official added.
At least six power stations (Tous and Mashhad in Khorasan Razavi, Neka in Mazandaran, Shahid Rajaee in Qazvin, Sahand and Tabriz in West Azarbaijan) have started using eco-unfriendly mazut to generate power and this expected to rise unless households curb consumption.
As 95% of power plants depend on natural gas to generate power, not consuming natural gas wisely (households) will have ecological consequences because more thermal power plants will have to switch to environmentally-damaging diesel and mazut instead of gas.
There is no denying that the more liquid fuels are burnt (to produce electricity), more toxic fumes will be released into the atmosphere making a bad air pollution situation worse.
NIGC has said that gas supply to homes is stable across a vast network of pipelines stretching over 36,000 kilometers.
“Gas supply capacity is 815 million cubic meters [per day], of which 90% or 773 mcm/d is being used in homes,” Gholamreza Mashayekhi, head of NIGC Dispatching Unit said.
The residential sector is the largest consumer (and the first priority), followed by power plants, industries and petrochemical companies.
Close to 18 million households in urban areas and 4.5 million families in rural regions are linked to the Iran Gas Trunkline (IGAT).
IGAT is a series of nine large diameter pipelines built to supply gas from refineries in the south (Khuzestan and Bushehr provinces).
NIGC cut gas delivery to cement factories last month so as not to disrupt gas flow to homes. But the move was enough and now it has started to restrict gas supply to power plants.
“Cutting gas delivery to petrochemical plants is also on the agenda unless households curtail consumption in the next two winter months,” he warned.
Mashayekhi said gas export to neighboring countries (50 mcm/d to Turkey and Iraq) has not been disrupted.