Oil Ministry Promoting Energy Conservation

Oil Ministry Promoting Energy ConservationOil Ministry Promoting Energy Conservation

The Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told a meeting Tuesday, "In order to create an incentive for energy service companies (ESCO), a program with a budget of $1.2 billion has been launched to help them concentrate on improving utilities and building structures to make them more energy-friendly and cut costs," Fars news agency reported.

An energy service company or energy savings company (ESCO) is a commercial or non-profit business providing a broad range of energy solutions including designs and implementation of energy savings projects, retrofitting, energy conservation, energy infrastructure outsourcing, power generation and energy supply, and risk management. Referring to the zero import tariffs levied on electric and hybrid cars, Zanganeh said, "According to the latest projections in the oil ministry, manufacturing natural gas vehicle (NGV) is more economically viable than importing electric and hybrid automobiles. But domestic banks do not show interest in funding such projects."

A natural gas vehicle (NGV) is an alternative fuel vehicle that uses compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a cleaner alternative to other fossil fuels. Natural gas vehicles should not be confused with vehicles powered by propane (LPG), which is a fuel with a fundamentally different composition. Up until 2011 there were 14.8 million natural gas vehicles worldwide with Iran at the top with 2.8 million cars.

Criticizing unnamed petrochemical industry officials trying to buy inexpensive feedstock at official rates through backdoor connections and rent-seeking, the minister said," Supplying the private sector with low-price feedstock is a wrong policy and does nothing to increase value added earnings. Moreover, it also will not contribute to the petrochemical industry's financial independence which is our ultimate goal."

On the critical issue of sanctions Zanganeh stressed," Oil revenues will increase if the  sanctions are lifted. However, the people's life will not be affected positively if the new earnings are added to the annual budget(s) while the private sector is forgotten once again." Tehran is under punitive economic sanctions because of its nuclear program. After marathon talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, the US plus Germany) reached a framework agreement on April 2 that calls for lifting all trade sanctions against Iran. The details of the agreement are to be finalized by a June 30 deadline.