EghtesadOnline: All urban population and 96% of rural regions in Kurdestan Province are linked to the natural gas grid, managing director of the provincial gas company said.
“With the completion of gas supply projects to 145 villages in the western province by February 2022, 98% of the rural population will have access to piped gas,” Ahmad Felegari was also quoted as saying by the Oil Ministry’s news agency Shana.
The total length of the grid in the province of 1.6 million people now exceeds 11,500 kilometers that supply gas to 31 cities and 1,177 rural areas.
Felegari said 326 industrial units are linked to the grid, which helps save 29 million liters of liquid fuel per annum.
"Until recently, cities like Baneh, Marivan and Saqqez did not have enough gas because of technical constraints," he said.
However, the extension of the grid has solved the gas pressure reduction problems caused by extreme weather in the winter seasons.
Located in the west of Iran, Kurdestan 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.
Rural Gas Supply
Piped gas was supplied to 2,913 rural areas and 23 cities in the last Iranian year (March 2020-21), managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company said.
Almost 95% of the urban and rural population are now linked to the gas grid, Hassan Montazer Torbati was also quoted as saying by Shana.
“Gas supply projects to 4,000 villages are underway and will come on stream next March,” he added.
Currently, some 36,000 villages comprising 85% of the rural areas have access to natural gas, to which another 6,000 will be added within a year.
The expansion of the national gas grid has been made possible due to the increase in gas production.
Domestic gas output has surpassed 1 billion cubic meters a day, a major part of which comes from the giant South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf.
Data indicate 18,000 villages have been connected to the national gas network since 2014. NIGC said it has invested over $17 billion in natural gas infrastructure since then.
“The big part [of the funds] went to complete the major South Pars Gas Field phases and the Iran Gas Trunkline to expedite gas delivery to remote rural areas, power plants and industries,” Torbati said.
He said expanding the gas network to small towns and villages in remote areas of the southern region, laying gas pipelines and setting up compressor stations are NIGC’s priorities.
An estimated 10,000 rural districts (mostly in the underdeveloped Sistan-Baluchestan) still lack piped gas.
Iran holds 34 trillion cubic meters of natural gas that constitute 18% of the world’s proven reserves. But it is not a major gas exporter, as the bulk of its gas production is consumed locally.