China Country Report August 06

-More than 240,000 NGV’s
-Over 720 refuelling stations
-Energy security and greenhouse gas policies playing increasing role
-Comparatively low conversion costs
-Government initiated training programs and subsidies

China Natural Gas Vehicle Market Overview

1. Natural Gas Reserve in China and NGV numbers and types in China

China’s natural gas reserve is fairly abundant; the explored geological natural gas reserve in China is about 1520 billion cubic meters, while the expected resources reserve is about 38,000 billion cubic meters.*

The consumption of natural gas takes 2% of the total first energy consumption in China, showing the potential of natural gas industry. However, the infrastructure (the pipelines) is still not efficient to meet the demand from the east coast, which limited the further NGVs development, especially in the rich metropolitans such as Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou etc. A lot of cities use LPG as the alternative fuel for transportation, before they can obtain a reliable natural gas supply. In some western provinces full of natural gas reserves such as Sichuan, the development of NGV is very fast.

China built 3 LNG refueling stations in Beijing, Urumqi and Changsha, for the LNG transit buses demonstration projects.

The following diagram shows the gas refueling stations development by year 2005:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: China Alternative Fuel Vehicles www.cafv.com.cn

The main market for NGV in China is urban transit buses and taxis. Some other application of NGV started to rise, such as trailer truck for LNG transportation, and municipality refuse vehicles, but still at an early stage.

This shows the size of market segment of NGVs in China:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: China Alternative Fuel Vehicles www.cafv.com.cn

The LNG vehicles started to be used in the transit buses, mainly in Urumqi, Beijing and Changsha. The total volume of LNG buses in China is 120 units.

Among all the natural gas vehicles in China, most of the engines are at a lower end. Due fuel engines are popular due to unsecured natural gas supply especially in the winter seasons. Another part of NG engines are modified from gasoline engines, because of the very low cost – $600USD for taxies, and around $1000 for buses.

The modified CNG engines has shown a trend to be replaced by OEM engines, as most of the indicators are problematic such as safety, emission, fuel consumption etc. Vehicles with modified CNG engines are still taking a slight lead over the OEM NGVs in total number. The percentage of dedicated CNG vehicles takes a very small portion – about 5% of the total NGVs.

2. Government involvement and support to the NGV program

The government support and involvement to NGV industry and programs are from two levels, national government and municipal governments.

The national government taking the lead on this is called China National Clean Auto Leading Group (Leading Group), which is firstly established in year 1999, and under direction of mainly the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and China Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). This Clean Auto program’s mission is to encourage the application of clean vehicles (including NGV, hybrid, electric vehicles, ethanol etc.) in the 19 appointed key cities. The China Clean Auto Leading Group sets up targets and plays a role of supervising and evaluation of the results.

The Leading Group also sets up local offices in municipal governments to develop local clean auto programs and lower lever supervision. Those offices are always headed by the Vice Mayor, and set up within the local Development and Reform Commission, Environment Protection Bureau, or Science and Technology Bureau.

The Leading Group provides a little financial fund to OEMs to encourage them develop clean vehicles. But this fund is very limited, and always kept under 1 million RMB (equivalent to about 125 thousand US dollars). However, the Ministry of Science and Technology is investing in big amount through its 863 Plan on more advantageous technology development projects, such as Fuel Cell and Hybrid studies.

Support from NDRC is mainly represented by the control of gas price. The gas price in most part of China is still remaining at a low level, which helps to maintain a economic operation cost comparing with diesel and gasoline.

More substantial support to the NGV industry is always happening with municipal government. The municipality normally allocates their own finance according to the local emission standards, infrastructure need, and financial capability. A good example is Beijing. In order to meet the environment requirement of 2008 Olympics, Beijing municipality made big investment from its environment fund to subsidize the Public Transit every year since 1999. Till now, Beijing Public Transit owns a CNG fleet with the total number exceeding 2700.

Other support policy from municipal government include subsidize on the natural gas refueling station set up, and land allocation. For example, Xi’an has 27 natural gas stations in year 2004, but with government support, especially with a favored land use policy, Xi’an increased the total station number to 50 by end of year 2005. The fast increase of refueling stations in some western cities helped the further development of NGVs.

3. Standards and training

The National Clean Auto Leading Group is taking the lead to organize the set up of NGV regulations and standards. It decides the items (from gas supply, to refueling station) for standard, and allocates relevant institute or organizations to work out the standard. In term of the NGV standard, China Automotive Technology and Research Centre (CATARC) had worked out a full set of NGV standard, including LPG, CNG and LNG vehicles, fueling stations, gas system etc.

The Leading Group and its regional offices also set up training programs for R&D staff, fleet operators and fueling station administrators regularly on a regional basis. It also requires that every organization to conduct the internal training on safety, operation, and technology to their own employees.

United Arab Emirates Country Report August 06

-More than 250 NGV’s
-Over 4 refuelling stations
-CNG playing an increasing role throughout the region

Status of CNG in UAE
Currently there is one public CNG filling station in Abu Dhabi which is  installed on an existing liquid fuel forecourt. This station is owned by  Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and has a capacity of  refueling approximately 200 vehicles/day. This station has been  operational since June 2005. At present there is one dedicated CNG  conversion center in the city of Abu Dhabi and currently approximately  50 vehicles have been converted, majority of which are taxies.

The government of Abu Dhabi has extensive plans to encourage the use  of Natural Gas as an alternative automotive fuel and the mandate to  expand the industry has been given to ADNOC, who intend to set up  another 10-12 CNG fueling stations during 2006. In this regard pre-  qualification of bidders is already been completed and the tenders are  supposed to be issued by June 2006.

In the emirate of Sharjah the state owned Sharjah Electricity and Water  Authority (SEWA) has set up a dedicated CNG fueling station for their  vehicles. The station was commissioned in March 2006 and currently  approximately 200 vehicles belonging to the SEWA fleet have been
converted to CNG and are using this refueling facility.

Bangladesh Country Report August 06

– More than 50,530 NGV’s
– 129 Refueling stations
– Energy security and greenhouse gas policies playing increasing role
– NGVs are directly contributing to protect foreign reserve funds of Bangladesh
– Growth rate of CNG conversion is more than 11 percent – from 11,700 in 2002 to 50,500 in 2005

Impact on air quality:

Dhaka has a significant level of air pollution due to particulate matter. In 2001, two-stroke three-wheeler baby taxis were identified as one of the major causes of air pollution by the different agencies and it was found that major portion of Hydrocarbon, Volatile Organic compound, Carbon monoxide and Particulate Matters were emitted due to use of excessive quantities of low quality lube oil. The Ministry of Communications, Government of Bangladesh decided to ban two stroke baby taxies from 1st December 2002. A new fleet of compressed natural gas (CNG) three-wheeler has introduced on January 2003. After the introduction of the CNG fleet, ambient air quality has improved in the Dhaka city.

Numbers & types of NGVs:

By March 2006, 50,530 various types of gasoline-powered vehicles were converted to CNG, – Cars/Jeeps/Microbuses/Three-Wheeler Auto Rickshaws/Taxi Cabs & Buses. The cost of conversion of per vehicle is on average US $583. Conversions diesel to CNG and gasoline to CNG are being undertaken though conversion from diesel to CNG is very expensive for the vehicle owners.

Existing & projected growth rates:

The Government licensing authority the Rupantarito Prakitik Gas Company Limited [RPGCL] has given 76 licenses for CNG conversion workshops to private owners. Another 224 application for conversion workshop are being processed. Except for a few, major conversion workshops are under equipped and mechanics are not trained according to the conditions of the licensing authority. However, due to increasing fuel prices, more than 3500 vehicles are being converting to CNG annually. The annual registrations of vehicles in Dhaka city is approximately 32,000 and the projected growth rate of CNG conversion is more than 11 percent – from 11,700 in 2002 to 50,500 in 2005.

Number & type of refueling stations:

A total of 115 CNG refueling stations are in Bangladesh. Another 14 CNG refueling station opened in June 2006.

Ownership:

RPGCL established one CNG refueling station in 1998 as a model at Jowarshahara, Dhaka, financed by the Asian Development Bank, This station is the property of Bangladesh Government. The rest of the CNG refueling stations belong to private owners. The Government has given priorities and encouragement to set-up more private sector refueling stations for easy refueling of natural gas vehicles (NGVs). The Govt. has provided 22 commercial plots with very easy payment installments to private owners to set-up CNG refueling stations in Dhaka including downtown. CNG conversion & refueling stations owners have formed an association, the Bangladesh CNG Filling Station and Conversion Owners Association in the first part of 2006.

Government organizations:

The Rupantarito Prakitik Gas Company Limited [RPGCL] has a well-equipped CNG conversion workshop at Jowarshahara; which facilitates genuine kits and provides free services to the customers. The RPGCL is empowered to supervise converting workshops but due to a shortage of manpower; they are often unable to inspect or supervise at the appropriate time. Due to a lack of monitoring, some poor quality equipment, including cylinders, is imported by some workshop owners.

• Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) is needed to ensure that the emission control system on a motor vehicle is working correctly.
• New vehicles sold have to meet national emission standards, but emission profiles can only be maintained if the emission controls and engines are functioning properly.
• Through periodic checks and required repairs for vehicles that fail the test, I/M encourages proper CNG vehicle maintenance.

Vehicles that are poorly maintained or that have malfunctioning emission controls have high levels of emission in excess of standards. The percentage of dirty vehicles increases with age. Typically, 10 to 30 percent of vehicles cause the bulk of the problem.

Regulatory structure:

Vehicles:

The Government is encouraging (but not mandating) private vehicle owners to convert their vehicles into CNG for environmental benefits and to save the foreign currency. But in a policy decision, all Govt. vehicles should be converted into CNG and already half of the fleet has been converted. Within a short time, all Govt vehicles will be converted.

Refueling Stations:

The Government has formed Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission with the support of USAID in 2005. The duties and responsibilities of the Commission are to supervise, monitor and make regulations on CNG safety and related issues.

Government & political support:

After the phase-out of two-stroke baby taxis from Dhaka city in 2003, the public suffered a great deal but realizing the environmental benefits, they supported the decision of the Government because they believe that natural gas is free from carcinogenic compounds and sulfur.

Government mandates:

Tax regime

The Government of Bangladesh has exempted all types of duty on imported cylinders and conversion kits to reduce the cost of conversion.

Saving of Foreign Currency:

The Government is importing crude and refined fuel from Middle East, Singapore and India, using one quarter of the country’s yearly national budget. Natural gas vehicles are saving foreign currency US $53.6 million per year and NGVs are directly contributing to protect foreign reserve funds of Bangladesh.

Major issues at present:

At present, the major issue related to CNG vehicles is safety. The RPGCL and Society for Urban Environmental Protection has taken initiatives to educate the users about safety measures and about the identify of genuine kits.

 

Akhtar Hossain Babu
General Secretary
Society for Urban Environmental Protection
16/13 Modhubagh, Moghbazar, Dhaka-1217. Phone-880-2-8355764,
E-Mail: [email protected]