Economy, Business And Markets

Tabriz Co. Wants to Export Diesel Engines to Europe

Tabriz Co. Wants to Export Diesel Engines to EuropeTabriz Co. Wants to Export Diesel Engines to Europe

Minister of Industry, Mine, and Trade, Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh expressed hope on Saturday that Iran would soon be able to export diesel engines to European countries.

The minister made the remarks during the inauguration ceremony of a new diesel engine testing and assembly plant in Tabriz, which is a subsidiary of Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company (ITMCO). He was accompanied by the First Vice-President, Es'haq Jahangiri in his one-day trip to the northern city, IRNA reported.

Noting that nearly half of the European cars have diesel engines, the minister urged domestic manufacturers such as ITMCO to work towards production and export of diesel engines to European countries.

The minister also praised the ITMCO for its achievements in engineering, production, and export. ITMCO is a tractor manufacturing company headquartered in Tabriz. The company was established in 1968 following an agreement reached between Iran and Romania to establish a tractor manufacturing company in Iran. ITMCO started producing small trucks and vans in the 1990s and is currently one of the largest groups of foundries in the Middle East.

The compression-ignition engines made by Motorsazan, a subsidiary of the ITMCO, feature 70-120 kilowatt of power and consume 8 liters of diesel in every 100 kilometers (km) of mileage, while the average fuel consumption for gasoline engines in Iran is 14 liters per 100 km. The engines are manufactured under the license of Japan's Isuzu Company and meet the Euro 4 emission standard, but can be upgraded to higher standards. The company claims it can manufacture 30,000 diesel engines per year. The manufacturers plan to increase the domestic share in production to 70% within the next three years, according to Mehr news agency.

Diesel engines are not commonly used in Iran's automotive sector. Their use was tried for the first time on Zamyad pickup trucks in 2010. The government had previously banned the import of diesel cars but lifted the ban five years ago after imposing tariff on import of diesel vehicles. Diesel cars have however not been properly marketed inside the country so far.

Today, the American and European car markets are dominated by diesel vehicles as they reduce fossil fuel consumption considerably and cause lower emissions. Modern diesel engines consume less than 4 liters of fuel in every 100 km of mileage while gasoline engines of comparable power consume at least 6 liters per 100 km. Diesel engines also produce far more torque than the gasoline engines and reduce the emission of CO2 and CO by 10% and 13% respectively.

A big obstacle in the way of using the modern diesel cars in Iran is the diesel quality, which is far lower than the global standard. According to a lawmaker, the diesel consumed in Iran contains 7,000 parts per million of sulphur, which is 350 times higher than Euro 4 standard. Over the past years, the oil ministry and other responsible organizations have promised to standardize the fuel. But the current diesel quality is still far below the requirements of high-tech diesel engines produced in developed countries.

In a move aimed at increasing fuel efficiency and reducing pollution, the oil ministry funded a national project five years ago through which the Iranian Fuel Conservation Company designed a diesel-powered car engine. But, be it domestically manufactured or imported diesel cars, the country lacks the infrastructure to supply them with Euro 5 and Euro 4 diesel fuel.