New Gasoline, Electricity Prices Discussed

New Gasoline, Electricity Prices DiscussedNew Gasoline, Electricity Prices Discussed

Gasoline prices will not increase until March 19, which marks the end of the current Iranian year, while electricity prices are bound for an upward revision next year, energy officials said in separate statements.

"Raising gasoline prices to 12,000 rials (around 32 cents) per liter is merely a speculation and no such proposal has been approved till now," Seyyed Nasser Sajjadi, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company, was quoted as saying by IRNA.

In late May, the government announced it would no longer allocate subsidized gasoline, among other types of fuel, to passenger vehicles at a rate of 70,000 rials per liter and said regular gasoline would be offered at a single rate of 10,000 rials (around 27 cents) without a quota for car owners nationwide.

According to reports, 300 million liters of subsidized gasoline had been unused by the deadline (November 21).

The government of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad started issuing fuel cards in 2007, allocating a gasoline quota at subsidized prices to private vehicles and motorbikes as part of plans to curb consumption and cut heavy energy subsidies.

Earlier this week, Sajjadi said Iran had stopped gasoline imports from Turkmenistan because of its low quality.

Iran plans to become a gasoline exporter when the first phase of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas goes on stream. Once fully operational, it will have the capacity of producing 36 million liters of Euro 4-compliant gasoline per day. Arash Kordi, managing director of Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir), said the government is also studying a proposal for raising electricity prices next year.

"It is natural to see higher electricity tariffs next year," he said, adding that rising maintenance costs justify a hike in electricity prices.