Iran sits comfortably in second position on the table of countries with the most natural gas vehicles (NGVs). That position is upheld by the government’s determination to strengthen the NGV sector and by massive gas reserves. Amir H Khaki, Managing Director for Tamkar Gas Equipment Co., a Tehran-based company that has designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned hundreds of large CNG refueling stations throughout the country, discussed the state of play with NGV Global News.
According to the National Iranian Oil Company, Iran’s natural gas reserves account for 16.6 percent of the world’s reserves, 49 percent of Middle East reserves and 38 percent of reserves in oil exporting countries. The US Energy Information Administration estimated Iran’s proved gas reserves as of 2016 to be 1,201 trillion cubic feet (34.0 trillion cubic metres), also rendering it second in the world.
Currently, 2,461 Compressed Natural Gas filling stations with a nominal capacity of 2,849,592 nm3/hr and 14,260 nozzles are active throughout the country, all of which have recently been inspected and approved by ISIRI (Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran) for safety. These stations have the capacity of fueling up to twice the current capacity.
So far, there are nearly 5 million natural gas vehicles in the country. Only China has more NGVs according to NGV Global statistics.
In 2017, an Iranian oil official stated investing in production of compressed natural gas (CNG) and as a replacement for gasoline fuel had saved Iran more than $37 billion over 12 years.
NIOPDC (National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company) announced that owners of gasoline cars can receive up to 25 million Rials (approx. USD 600) of bank facilities in order to convert their cars to bi-fuel cars. Depending on the type of CNG conversion kit utilised (mixer type or sequential type), the finance facility covers the majority of conversion cost. CNG fuel is less than half the price of gasoline, enabling loans to be readily repaid, depending on distance travelled.
The number of active vehicle conversion workshops in this field are 1100, which can carry the conversion of 22,000 to 30,000 vehicles per day. Type 1 cylinders (made entirely of metal) are used in Iran.
All vehicles and gas cylinders are inspected annually. The government is in the process of building a new national database for registration of all natural gas vehicles and major components, expected to be completed before end 2020, which will facilitate inspection compliance and enhance safety.
In order to fund the implementation of safety requirements and intelligence requirements of CNG supply and contribute to the replacement of CNG tanks on vehicles, the price of gas will be increased from 4140 Rials to 4532 Rials per cubic meter from 22 May 2019 (USD 0.098 to 0.11).
Tamkar Gas Equipment Company (TGEC) – tamkargas.ir