Mazut Supply to Power Plants Reaching Zero

Power plants are moving toward replacing polluting fuels with natural gas.Power plants are moving toward replacing polluting fuels with natural gas.

Concerted efforts are being made to stop using mazut as feedstock in power plants by the end of the current fiscal year that ends in March 2018, deputy head of the Department of Environment (DOE) said.

"Mazut, an eco-unfriendly fuel, accounted for 45% of power plant feedstock in 2013, yet it declined to 8% in 2015, which had profound effects on curbing air pollution," Saeed Motesadi was quoted as saying by IRNA on Thursday.

"Power plants are moving toward replacing polluting fuels with natural gas as a cleaner energy resource," Motesadi noted.

Pointing to environmentally-friendly initiatives to reduce the consumption of low-quality fuel in power generating facilities, Motesadi noted, "Developing online air pollution control systems in industrial units is one of the effective means not only to monitor but also reduce air pollution."

The government has instructed power plants and refineries to use gas instead of polluting feedstock such as mazut due to abundance of gas reserves and the rise in South Pars Gas Field output.

Thanks to online data processing systems, the DOE does not need to send experts to the power plants to measure their emissions or analyze the level of pollutants.

"Fuel consumption and the level of pollution in industrial units can be monitored and recorded instantaneously using online systems," he said.

Online systems are essential in today's industrial landscape because of tightening compliance with sustainability standards and heightened environmental standards.

"Once the system is installed, industries will be obliged to comply with environmental standards round the clock," he said, adding that in case the system faces a technical problem, the whole industrial unit should shut down until the defect is removed.

Asked about the units which are not equipped with the system yet, Motesadi said that such industrial complexes should provide DOE with special reports regarding their pollution levels on regular basis. Describing air pollution as a serious hazard that threatens the lives of the people, he said reducing pollution is high on the government agenda.

The official noted that the first step taken by the government to tackle the problem has been to change highly polluting fuels including mazut and diesel used by industrial facilities.

According to the official, 220 online systems have already been deployed at major power plants, with the last one installed at Shohaday-e-Pakdasht Power Plant in Pakdasht County in southeast Tehran.

Motesadi also stressed that water must be recycled in power plants and other public utilities, "otherwise irreparable damage will be inflicted on underground water resources, most of which are on the verge of drying up."

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