5.5b Liters of Gasoline Saved by CNG Consumption
Consumption of 5.5 billion cubic meters of compressed natural gas (CNG) has led to conservation of more than 5.5 billion liters of gasoline from March 21 to January 21, said the manager of CNG station construction project of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC).
With CNG prices at 4,500 rials (13 cents) per cubic meter, the value of consumed CNG in the 10-month period stood at 24.750 billion rials ($715.7 million), Amir Vakilzadeh was quoted by IRNA as saying on Monday.
CNG is an alternative to gasoline which is made by compressing natural gas to less than one percent of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. CNG is drawn from natural gas wells or in conjunction with oil production. Currently, 21 million cubic meters (mcm) of CNG is supplied per day.
The figure is expected to reach 23 mcm once operations at new CNG stations commence. Investments made in the CNG sector have saved the Treasury $30 billion over the past ten years.
CNG accounts for 23 percent of Iran's fuel basket, but it's projected to increase to 35 percent before the end of the Sixth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2016-2020).
Promotion of CNG, which is drawn from natural gas wells, is an inevitable economic and environmental necessity for a country that holds the second largest gas reserves in the world. Efforts to promote CNG consumption started more than a decade ago, as Iran tried to capitalize on its huge gas reserves.
Iran is one of the leading countries in promoting CNG with 2,249 stations. More than $2.4 billion has been invested for promotion of CNG, and close to 22,000 people work in this industry.
Typical CNG vehicles can reduce smog-forming emissions of carbon monoxide by 70 percent, non-methane organic gas by 87 percent and oxides of nitrogen by 87 percent. Also, CNG vehicles typically have 20 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline powered cars. In addition, natural gas is not toxic or corrosive and will not contaminate ground water.