More Refinery, Power Projects With Japan

More Refinery, Power Projects With JapanMore Refinery, Power Projects With Japan

A memorandum of understanding has been signed with a Japanese firm to minimize mazut production in Tehran Oil Refinery, director of coordination and supervision for the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company said.

"A Japanese company has signed an MoU to study plans for reducing mazut production in Tehran Oil Refinery and improving energy efficiency in Abadan Refinery," Saeed Mahjoubi was quoted as saying by Shana on Wednesday. The official did not name the company.

"Japanese and South Korean firms have shown strong interest in Iran's refinery projects. The unnamed Japanese company is working on plans to raise the quality of Iran's petroleum products to match Euro 4 emission standard."

Mazut is a heavy, low quality fuel oil used in power plants and other similar applications. It is a low-value and more polluting fuel compared to other fuels such as diesel and natural gas.

Iran's underinvested refineries produce a huge amount of mazut due to largely dilapidated infrastructure and aging technology.

The Iranian government is pursuing a two-pronged policy in dealing with mazut; minimizing output and converting the fuel into products with higher value-added such as gasoline and diesel. According to NIORDC chief, Abbas Kazemi, the latter plan requires a hefty investment of $3 billion.

To help curb air pollution, power plants and industries have been instructed by the government to use gas instead of mazut. One-third of the country's natural gas is consumed by power plants.

In the US and Western Europe, mazut is blended or broken down, with the end product being diesel.

Moreover, natural gas makes up nearly 80% of feedstock supplies to all power plants in Iran, according to an official at Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company.

  Waste to Energy

Japanese engineering firm JGC Corporation is in advanced talks to build a waste-to-energy plant, also known as waste incinerator, in the city of Amol in the northern Mazandaran Province.

According to Mehr News Agency, citing Amol Mayor Ahmad Amir-Soleimani, the Japanese firm inspected the city's landfill in a visit around two years ago and reached preliminary agreements last year to establish a waste-fired plant in the city, with the project gaining momentum after the lifting of sanctions.

However, some argue that waste incineration is comparatively a more expensive and more polluting means of power generation.

According to reports, to produce the same amount of energy as a coal power plant, trash incinerators release 2.5 times more carbon dioxide, twice as much carbon monoxide, three times more nitrogen oxides, 6-14 times more mercury and nearly six times more lead.