Iran – Natural Gas Vehicle Country Report Update Sept 06

Based on the 121st article of the third national program of economical, social and cultural development of the country, the Iranian Fuel Conservation Organization (IFCO), a subsidiary of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), was established in 2000, aiming to manage the fuel consumption in different sectors through the review and survey of consumption trends and executing conservation projects nationwide.

Establishing compressed natural gas (CNG) infrastructure and the promotion of natural gas vehicles (NGV’s) are among the main missions of IFCO.

NGV programs:

CNG projects were started in 1975 with the conversion of 1200 taxis and private passenger cars in Shiraz city as a pilot project.

These are the main strategies of IFCO for bi-fuel vehicles:
– Retrofit conversion as a short term method for existing cars.
– OEM production of bi- fuel vehicles as a medium term measure.
– Design and production of CNG base OEM vehicles as a long term method

A comprehensive project for creating infrastructure and developing CNG in Iran was started by IFCO in 2001 with some separate activities in parallel, as described below:
– Conversion retrofit vehicles to CNG
– OEM CNG vehicles manufacturing
– Legislation of national directives and regulations
– Construction of CNG fueling stations.


The following outlines some of the main measures taken relating to infrastructure development.

Iranian CNG Station

CNG stations: Existing large natural gas resources and pipeline networks that cover more than 560 cities and 3226 villages form the basis for the location of CNG stations in the country.

Up to Sep 2006, 326 CNG stations have been constructed and are in service while more than 432 stations are under construction by the government and private sectors. The total capacity of the service stations is more than 10,000,000 m3/day (6.000.000 m3/day is in service and more than 4.000.000 m3/day is ready for operation)

Public relations: Safety aspects and the promotion of natural gas vehicles have been addressed through many educational films produced and broadcast on TV and radio channels. Brochures including safety requirements for use natural gas as vehicles fuel, specification of natural gas, etc, have also been issued. In several national and international fairs, IFCO has also raised awareness about natural gas vehicles.

Regulations and standards: International standards (ISO Standards), European Regulations and standards of countries with historical background on CNG such as Italy, Argentina and New Zealand have been used for different activities related to CNG in both vehicles (light and heavy duty) and refueling stations since the beginning of the project in Iran. Also some important regulations regarding NGV’s and CNG refueling stations have been issued by IFCO.

After a short interval the national standards based on ISO standards were issued for CNG vehicles and their components (ISIRI 5636 and ISIRI 5764), and at present the country is switching CNG vehicle components standards from ISO standards to European regulation R110 and first edition of national NGV’s standards (ISIRI 7598) has been recently published based on R110 regulation.

A national standard of CNG stations was published in 2005 with code no. ISIRI 7829 based on the Argentina (GE-N1-118), United States (NFPA 52), and New Zealand (NZS 5425 Part 2) standards and considering Iran’s climate and geographical circumstances.

Supporting related research: IFCO supports a number of research projects related to CNG engine performance (dedicated, Bi-fuel, Dual-fuel engines), fuel conservation projects, natural gas vehicle durability, emissions and other associated topics such as the identification of natural gas treatment as a vehicle fuel, gas composition effects on engine performance, etc. CNG based engines and native NGVs have been developed by country research centers and car manufacturers.

Localization of CNG components and equipment production: Transferring technology from abroad and the localization of CNG kit components, cylinders and CNG stations equipments are some of the strategies of IFCO. Construction of a CNG cylinder production factory with a nominal capacity of 120 thousands cylinders per year in different dimensions has been completed and now supplies a portion of the country’s requirements according to present international standards. Another CNG cylinder production factory is under construction in Esfahan with more than 200 thousands cylinders per year. Other CNG cylinder production factories are also being planned. Local compressor manufacturing companies are producing major parts of CNG station equipments with the co-operation of foreign companies.

CNG Companies (Conversion & Refueling station equipments)

CNG kit manufacturer and conversion

-Electro fan (tel:+98-21-228418844/22865892,3), Contact Sepideh Mirshahreza, Email – [email protected]
-Shahab Gaz sooz (tel:0098-251-2936466)
-Sasad (tel:0098-21-22953799)
-Pad Alayandeh (tel:0098-21-88745519)

Refueling station equipments:

-Parts compressor (partner with Intermech Ltd) \n [email protected]
-Chagalesh (partner with Nuovo Pignone) \n [email protected]
-Tamkar gas (partner with GreenField)

Cylinder manufacturer

-Satak Co. (tel:0098-21 88726501)
-Pars MCS (tel:0098-21 22031854-58)

Conversion workshops: More than 107 conversion centers have been equipped and certified in 37 cities countrywide. Local car manufacturers that produce CNG vehicles have equipped their existing after sale services network to service NGV products and related regular inspection. Identity information and specifications of NGV’s are being entered in audit software for tracking periodic audit and inspections.

Training: Personnel of conversion workshops, inspection centers, after sale services and CNG stations, inspectors, operators and all technical staffs who work directly with CNG, have passed related training courses and have been certified for particular activities. The general public have also been informed on safety issues through many reports, presentations and demonstrations about CNG and NGVs.

Long Term Program:
In approving the nation’s budget for the current year, Parliament gave special attention to the CNG industry and approved considerable subsidies for production of 280,000 OEM NGV’s by Iranian major car manufacturers and the conversion of 120,000 cars to CNG by available conversion workshops.
1. 20% of OEM CNG fueled vehicles are produced annually by Iran’s two biggest car manufacturers (Iran Khodro & SAIPA).
2. Conversion of 600,000 public and governmental cars to NGV.
3. 667,000 OEM CNG based vehicles and contributing a new production line of 410,000 OEM annual capacity at Iran Khodro.
4. Contributing to produce 6,000 OEM CNG based buses in 5 years.

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

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

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.


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:


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]

Egypt Country Report July 06

Egypt is considered the leading country in the NGV industry in middle east and Africa as it is ranked one of the first ten countries in the number of converted cars all around the world. There are 65,432 cars converted on the road now with 99 fueling stations and 22 conversion stations. Nine refueling station currently under construction and monthly gas sales average: 22.290 million m3, there are six companies working in this industry.

Two public companies:


Four private companies:

3. Arabia Gas.
4. Master Gas

Fuel prices are as the following:
Premium gasoline: 0.19 Euro/litre
Regular gasoline: 0.13 Euro/litre
Diesel: 0.08 Euro/liter
CNG: 0.06 Euro/m3

The Egyptian Government provides support for NGV programs through the following initiatives:-

1 – The Ministry of Petroleum was the catalyst that acted to begin the CNG commercialization process. They shared the industry’s vision that utilizing CNG as a transportation fuel would have a positive impact on Cairo’s air quality and improve the health of its people. In addition, the Petroleum Ministry recognized that establishing a new customer segment (transportation fuels) for Egypt’s abundant natural gas supply could promote domestic energy security and allow for the export of crude oil and refined petroleum products that would be displaced by the use of CNG.

2 – To stimulate the rate of CNG market development, the General Authority for Investment (GAFI) with the support of the Petroleum Ministry grants a five-year tax holiday to each approved CNG company. This greater profit contribution can then be reinvested to accelerate the number of available CNG fueling stations for our customers.

3 – After a long study made by the Petroleum Ministry during the first quarter of 2003, Egypt’s CNG industry implemented a new “Gas Card” system. All customers who have outstanding conversion loan balances, and all new financed conversion customers, will begin paying the gasoline price each time they fuel with the difference being credited against their receivables’ balance. This is more convenient for customers as it eliminates their need to make monthly payments. The new scheme will also not have any social impact in case the conversion for a specific segment is mandated through decrees. Some high fuel use customers will pay off their conversion loans from fuel savings in as little as six months.

4 – With Egypt expected to reach 100,000 converted vehicles by 2007, the Ministry of Petroleum is currently preparing the CNG Master Plan for the subsequent 20 years.

5 – By way of indirect support, the Egyptian government is currently studying increasing the price of gasoline in Egypt according to the increasing of oil prices globally. This step will encourage more people to convert their cars – especially the drivers and owners of transportation facilities – for avoiding the worst influence of this increasing against most activities in Egypt

6 – Traffic authorities in Egypt are also investigating a Ministry of Petroleum suggestion for enforcing taxi drivers in Cairo, Alexandria and tourism destinations and coasts to convert their cars into CNG when renewing their cars’ licenses.

The 10th biennial IANGV conference, to be held in Egypt on November 2006, will provide an ideal opportunity to see middle eastern developments first hand and to exchange information and exhibit CNG products.

More information


Pakistan Country Report January 06

– 800 CNG refueling stations
– 300 more expected within 6 months
– Almost 900,000 natural gas vehicles (NGVs)
– CNG fuel price a major benefit

Compressed natural gas (CNG) development in Pakistan started in the mid eighties when HDIP* set up two CNG refueling stations in Karachi and Islamabad (major cities of Pakistan). Due to excellent production and distribution of natural gas in Pakistan, today there are more than 800 CNG refueling stations operational either at existing petrol stations or separately on dedicated sites. 300 more are expected in the coming six months.

CNG, being a well proven alternative fuel with passage of time, has increased its consumers in Pakistan to almost 900,000 vehicles making Pakistan the 3rd largest user of CNG vehicles in the world after Argentina and Brazil. Around 150,000 vehicles are converting to CNG each year.

State of the Art Equipment

CNG refueling stations of Pakistan are equipped with state of the art automatic controls and systems. High Pressure Compressors installed are of various design types like L-type, W-type, V-type, D-type. These Compressors are usually imported from America, India, New Zealand and China. Mother/Daughter CNG stations in Pakistan are not operational currently, however Pakistan State Oil (PSO) signed an MoU with a UAE based firm last year for the setting up of Mother/Daughter CNG facilities at their retail outlets on highways at 100 km intervals where piped gas is not available. Currently there are no vehicle refuelling appliances (VRAs) operating in Pakistan.

Favourable Pricing

In the past 3 years petroleum product prices have increased by 100% and CNG by 47% (from Rs.21/kg to Rs.31/kg) in Pakistan. This has been a significant driver for the conversion of vehicles to CNG. Current fuel prices in Pakistan are:

Petrol Rs. 56.29 / liter ($US0.94)
Diesel Rs. 37.18 / liter ($US0.62)
CNG Rs. 31.00 / kg ($US0.52)
(Prices obtained from PSO)

Government Policy & Support

The Government is taking major steps to promote CNG by exempting all taxes and duties for the machinery and equipment used for CNG refueling and conversion. The Government is also supporting importers to set up manufacturing facilities in Pakistan to produce CNG kits, CNG Dispensers and CNG Cylinders locally. The Government has planned to grant license for setting up compressor factories in Pakistan, thus allowing users to save its precious foreign exchange.

A few months back the Government also issued directives requiring conversion of all official vehicles to CNG. In this regard the Government is planning to set up more and more CNG refueling stations by tendering in different cities.

Different CNG associations are also working in Pakistan for betterment of CNG. They have asked the Government to give incentives in the form of providing separate higher flow or larger diameter pipelines to refueling stations and to facilitate in obtaining ‘No Objection Certificates’ (NOC’s) and licenses from different Government organizations.

Future Prospects

In short, the CNG industry has a wide potential in Pakistan; Pakistan being the natural gas producer and having an excellent distribution network is well geared to use this resource to its maximum potential, in terms of protecting its environment, saving its precious foreign exchange, and offering economical fuel to its population.

* HDIP = Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan, an autonomous body of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources, Pakistan

Some information sourced from DAWN Newspaper

Japan Country Report December 05

– More than 25,000 NGVs
– 289 refuelling stations
– 686 vehicle refuelling appliances
– Energy security and greenhouse gas policies playing increasing role

As of the end of September, 2005, there are more than 25,000 natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in Japan, supported by 289 natural gas refueling stations, 29 of which are service fleet and bus operators exclusively, as well as 686 vehicle refueling appliances (VRAs).

NGV’s have primarily been promoted due to the solution of the air pollution problem and to promote alternatives to crude oil derived energy. As a result, NGV’s have become popular among heavy vehicles, trucks and buses, where the diesel substitution produces the greater air quality benefits.

In recent years, the social interest in greenhouse gas reduction has risen with the coming into force of the Kyoto Protocol. Due to the CO2 benefits of natural gas vehicles, this has resulted in an increased interest in NGVs for gasoline substitution, particularly among passenger cars and light to medium duty vans.

Due to Japanese Government policy on the reduction of the greenhouse gas, in addition to the existing green house gas reduction law, the law concerning the rationalization of the energy use will be revised from April, 2006. The main point of this revision is that the control subject of this law expands into the transportation field (the transportation business and the consignor ) from the conventional factories. The revision of this law has been decided in the Diet (Japanese Parliament) and the Japanese Government is reviewing the detailed standard which is necessary to operate this law.

From the viewpoint of energy security, natural gas is playing an important role to decrease petroleum dependence. With crude oil prices increasing substantially in the past year, this has become especially important. These price rises, along with the added advantage of relative price stability, have made natural gas competitive in relation to gasoline and diesel. Japan imports natural gas as LNG (liquefied natural gas) and the pricing structures and longer-term contracts make LNG pricing less volatile, thus making LNG an attractive alternative to crude oil and its derivatives. In Japan fuel price depends on the contract between the filling stations and the users, but prices currently average around 125 yen/l of gasoline, 100 yen/l of diesel, and 70 yen /m3 of CNG.

Japan’s strong automotive manufacturing sector produces a large number of OEM (original equipment manufacturers) natural gas vehicles, The presence of OEM NGVs in Japan means engine and emissions performance is of an exceptional standard. Unfortunately, this also means that the price differential between natural gas and diesel or gasoline vehicles is relatively high. While mass market penetration of NGVs would bring prices down, reaching that stage remains a problem for the industry

Despite the above challenge, by effectively using the policy of Japanese Government concerning energy security and the global warming problem, the NGV industry members in Japan are confident that natural gas vehicles in Japan will increase in popularity in coming years.

Tamaki Yamada
Manager,Technical and Planning Section
Natural Gas Vehicle Project Department


NGV Development in Thailand


Thailand is a net importer of oil. The energy consumption is about 1.8 million barrels per day (last 5 years CAGR = 6%) and is expected to be around 3 million barrels per day by 2015. Oil is the main source of energy in Thailand (47% of the total energy consumption), about 67% of which is consumed by transportation sector. As a result, the high price of crude oil in the world market nowadays has a great impact on motorists and the country’s economic expansion.
There are about 38.24 TCF of natural gas reserves in Thailand (including the reserves in the Thailand-Malaysia Joint Development Area; JDA). Natural gas has increased steadily its share of energy supply from 14% in 1992 to 28% in 2004, which amounts to 3,000 MMSCFD (million cubic feet per day) or the equivalent of 515 thousand barrels per day of petroleum oil. Like many countries around the world which have indigenous natural gas reserves, the Thai government has strongly promoted alternative fuels since 2002. Gasohol, bio-diesel as well as natural gas have been selected to be major alternative vehicle fuels to reduce the impact of the high oil price. Among these, natural gas is the most favorable fuel because it can replace 100 % of oil usage. Furthermore, it generates better tail-pipe emission than diesel and gasoline.

NGV experience in Thailand

Since 1984, NGV has been developed in Thailand mainly for the emissions reduction in Bangkok area. The long history of the development of NGV for use in heavy-duty vehicles is summarized in the following table.





























The above table shows that PTT has been working very hard in trying many conversion technologies, starting from the cooperation from New Zealand’s government in 1984. Five in-use public buses of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA), Isuzu 6 BD1, Hino EH100, Isuzu DA125, Hino EH700 and Mercedes Benz OM360 have been converted to use NGV for demonstration purposes. There have been 3 other trial projects involving the conversion of in-use buses and trucks to dedicated CNG and diesel/CNG dual fuel (DDF) operation by using a simple gas mixer. These trials proved unsatisfactory to the fleet owners in terms of fuel economy and drivability.

As a result of poor performance of the in-use converted buses, in 1993 the Thai government decided to give a grant to BMTA for the purchase of 82 OEM dedicated CNG buses (44 MAN & 38 Mercedes Benz) while PTT invested in a CNG refueling station to service these buses at their depot. This scheme was aimed at promoting NGVs as a means of tackling air pollution problems in the capital. Although they have proved to be satisfactory in general, some technical problems occur due to the incompatibility of NGV quality in Thailand. These problems have been partially solved while the rest is underway. In view of the economy at that time, the fleet has proved to be not so attractive but in view of exhaust emission it has been proved to be a success.

In 1997, there was an economic crisis in Thailand, the Thai Baht was devalued, but the crude oil price was still relatively high. The Thai government has gradually removed its oil price subsidy for both diesel and gasoline. The NGV project was reestablished to promote natural gas as an alternative vehicle fuel to alleviate the impact of the high oil price as well as addressing the environmental problems in the greater Bangkok area. Therefore PTT, as a state owned agency, turned to focus on in-use vehicle conversion again in 1999. The pre-marketing demonstration project was set up by converting 16 city buses to NGV, using the diesel dual fuel system.

The lessons we learned can be concluded as follows;
– Conversion technology is a crucial factor. Our experience is that simple gas mixer conversion technology is prone to pre-ignition in the intake manifold. Since a vacuum-control gas mixer was used for pre-mixing of gas and the intake air of the engine, the intake manifold was therefore filled with combustible gas, which was believed to be the cause of detrimental misfiring. The engines had been converted from diesel to spark ignition, with a resulting increase in the combustion temperature. The increased combustion heat was not removed by additional cooling provision, such as increasing radiator capacity, therefore the engine would naturally operate at a higher temperature and be prone to pre-ignition. The converted engine power obviously dropped to about 25-30%.

– DDF conversion; both diesel and NGV were used at the same time in different proportions depending on the load and speed conditions of the
engine. The converted engine can be tuned to have higher power than the original diesel engine by injecting natural gas into the diesel fuel system,
however this has to be done very carefully to prevent the piston burn-out. Its tail-pipe emission contains lower PM10 than the original diesel engine.
– In-use engine condition is highly dependent on the converted engine performance, it depends on the way of use and maintenance.
– CNG quality: natural gas that contains a high percentage of methane will inhibit pre-ignition whereas the percentage of inert gas ie CO2, N2 will affect engine performance.

Not only heavy-duty vehicles were developed for NGV but also light-duty vehicles as well. The history of the development may be tabulated as follow.
















From the above table, we will see that gasoline powered vehicles are much easier to convert to run on CNG than diesel powered vehicles. The injection type conversion with close loop control enhances engine performance and fuel economy more than the

gas-mixer type, but it costs more. Most cars in Thailand have the electronic fuel injection type engines, therefore the injection type conversion seems to be a proper technology for our cars because it can eliminate miss-firing problems. The gas mixer type can be equipped with a pressure relieve device to vent back pressure caused by backfire. PTT is preparing to publish information on all conversion technologies, the engine performance, emissions and costs of each conversion technology. This will be useful information for vehicle owners to choose what conversion technology is suitable for their application and their ability to pay.

In 2003, PTT had PTT R&D survey the feedback from taxi drivers who drove the converted CNG taxis by interviewing 400 drivers whose taxis had been converted by using single point port and parallel injection technology. And another survey in 2004 by Thammasart University interviewed 500 taxi drivers whose taxis were converted by using multi-point port and sequential conversion technology. The results of their satisfaction in percentages are as follows;





The above survey results give PTT full confidence in expanding after market taxi and car conversions.

Along with the development of NG vehicles, refueling facilities have also been established to support those vehicles. The corresponding history of NGV refueling station establishments is listed in the following table.
















Current status of NGV in Thailand

NGV Current Status (July, 2005)
– 34 NGV Service Stations and 10 more stations are under construction.
– 5,200 NG Vehicles (Taxies 4,770 : Passenger cars 327 : BMTA 82 : Royal Thai Navy buses 21)
– 5.8 MMSCFD of NGV Sales Volume (Equal to Gasoline 60 million Litre/ year)

NGV Price now is 8.50 Baht/ kg (as of 15th June 2005) when compared to other fuel on an energy basis.
– 46% of Diesel Price (18.99 Baht/Litre)
– 34% of ULR 91 Price (22.14 Baht/Litre)
– 67% of LPG Price (9.40 Baht/Litre)

Remark : 40.28 Baht = 1 US$

Key success factors for NGV expansion

There are 3 key success factors for NGV expansion;
1. NGV service station network: The network should cover the area where NGV users are. There are Thai regulations for the design and construction of CNG refueling stations which are adopted from international standards. Safety and quality control are of crucial concern. If there were to be any accident, such as CNG tank explosion, this definitely would scare people away from using NGV.
Currently, there is no other company interested in doing CNG refueling station business. PTT is the only company that invests in CNG refueling stations. Almost all current stations are added to the existing conventional fuel service stations in order to reduce investment cost by sharing common infrastructures i.e. rest room,
mechanic shop and convenience store etc. This creates benefits in terms of drawing more people to buy products in convenience stores and mechanic shops. However the incentive for investment i.e. corporate tax exemption, low rate on government land lease etc. is still required to reduce the station cost and attract CNG service station investors.

2. NGV vehicles, conversion kits and refueling equipment manufacturers: Local production will lower costs of these products. However the investors require a certain amount of long term demand to justify their investment, together with some supportive measures such as reduction of import duty for raw materials and equipment used in the manufacturer’s plants. The NG Vehicles should be priced not much higher than conventional fuel powered vehicles. The conversion kit should not be too expensive but capable of maintaining the original performance
when using the converted engine.

3. NGV users: The benefits of using NGV i.e. low price, good after sale/conversion service as well as sufficient infrastructure etc. have to be guaranteed. These will facilitate NGV sustainable development. The Thai government is considering, for NG Vehicles, a reduction in the annual fee for vehicle registration, this would be a
further benefit for NGV owners.

NGV Roadmap














There are 2 phases in the implementation of NGV in Thailand Phase 1 (Present – 2008) PTT will expand NGV and CNG refueling infrastructure focusing on the greater Bangkok, provincial areas along the natural gas pipeline route and along super highways. PTT aims to use NGV to replace 10% of diesel and gasoline usage. The numbers of NGV and refueling stations are expecting to be 180,000 units and 180 stations respectively by the year 2008. A new distribution natural pipeline from the new international airport, Suwanapoom airport, to inner Bangkok, Pratum Num area, will be constructed by the end of this year, and will be extended to PTT ‘s energy complex in Ladprao area and toward Rungsit area in the following year. This new pipeline will facilitate the conversion of some existing CNG refueling daughter type stations in inner Bangkok to the conventional type by PTT. A medium size LNG production plant, 25 mmcfd, will be constructed in Rayong province by mid 2007. The LNG product will be distributed to LNG storage depots which will be located in all regions and to facilitate LNG supply to refueling stations throughout the country. At that time, Thailand can become a focal point for creating an Asian “Blue corridor” through adjoining countries, i.e. Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam etc., to facilitate NG vehicles to run around Asia. The increased number of NGVs will come from both retrofitting in-use vehicles and OEM vehicles. Trucks, inter-provincial buses and pick-ups will be encouraged to convert to run on diesel/CNG dual fuel, while Bangkok city buses will be persuaded to convert to run on dedicated CNG. The existing policy of promoting bi-fuel, CNG and gasoline fuels for cars will be maintained.

Phase 2 (2009 – 2016) NGVs will be promoted throughout the country, the natural gas supply to refueling stations in the areas that have no natural gas pipeline will be in the form of LNG and in the form of CNG where natural gas pipelines exist. The implementation plan to import million ton per day of LNG 5 in the year 2010 is still active. PTT is expecting to have 500 service stations serving 265,000 -503,000 vehicles by the year 2016.

NGV marketing strategy

1. Arrange financial package to support vehicles owners; PTT has arranged NGV card systems to facilitate the collection of loans by the
financing institutions as follows;
– Gold Card : For those who do not have any loan liability, they will pay only CNG price.
– Silver Card : For those who have a loan liability, PTT has joined with SME Bank and the Government Saving Bank to provide an excusive
loan for taxis. Taxi owners will re-pay their loan at 3 Baht per kilogram of CNG every time they refill their CNG tank.
– Orange Card : For governmental organization’s vehicles, PTT pays all the conversion costs for them which are then re-paid at 5 Baht per kilogram of CNG every time the converted vehicles refill with CNG.
– In addition to the above, PTT is studying the possibility of joining with more bankers and financiers to arrange financial packages for trucking service companies and bus / other vehicle fleet owners for their fleet









There will be 4 different bus manufacturers (Hino, Mercedez Benz, Isuzu and Mitsubishi.) and 3 different truck haulers( Hino, Volvo, Daewoo) to be converted to dedicated CNG and diesel dual fuel. All of the converted vehicles will have chassis dynamometer testing for measuring engine power and emissions. After this the vehicles will be released to their operation. The drivers have to report vehicle driving performance to the project. If all the test results satisfy the fleet owners as well as conform to the agreed condition in the MOU, then PTT will promote in-use diesel
powered vehicle conversion up to about 500 vehicles this year.

3. PTT will expand the NGV service station network by constructing more CNG service station along main highways and gas distribution pipelines, and also in industrial estates where natural gas pipelines exist.
– Eastern Part : From Bangkok to Rayong Province
– Southern Part : From Bangkok to Hua Hin
– Central and Northern Part : Bangkok to Kamphangpet Province

Government support measures

The Thai government realizes that utilizing natural gas as an alternative fuel in the transportation sector will reduce Thailand’s trade deficit by reducing the importation of crude oil, and also help to improve air quality. To maximize the advantages of NGVs, the Thai government has not only announced their commitment to NGV expansion on 17th May 2005, but also provided supportive measures as follows:
1. The National Energy and Policy Office (NEPO), a government agency established since 2000, will co-operate with PTT in arranging financial support for vehicle owners, such as
– Loans with special low interest rate and long term repayment for taxi conversion
– Grants to BMTA and BMA for additional cost of purchasing NG Vehicles instead of diesel powered vehicles.
2. Creating price advantages for natural gas by maintaining current pricing structure for refined crude oil products which are imposed with excise tax, municipal tax, oil fund levy and energy conservation fund levy as well as VAT, while natural gas is exempted from any taxes, except VAT. This pricing regime allows natural gas vehicle fuel to be priced lower than any other fuels (about 50% of diesel price).
3. Reducing import duties for NGV as follows
– NGV refueling facilities: compressor 3% , other equipment 1%
– Vehicular conversion kit: Equipment 1%, NGV cylinder 1% for all material types.
4. Reducing excise tax for CNG passenger car from 30% – 40% to 20%
5. Revising existing natural gas powered vehicle regulations to accommodate the latest NGV technologies.
6. Introducing new BMTA buses and garbage collector trucks to use NGV.
7. Developing NGV refueling station regulation.
8. Allocating land for NGV service stations.
9. Setting NGVs as the first priority for natural gas use, especially gas from onshore fields.

NGV Project Highlights in 2005

There are many continuing projects and pilot projects that PTT will implement this year to expand the number of NG Vehicles such as a pilot project for truck tractors/bus/van to use both dedicated and diesel dual fuel technology. This particular aspect will be emphasized in a number of unique highlight projects. Three projects will be explained in detail as follows.
1. CNG in Locomotive Project
As Asia’s first project to use CNG in locomotives, PTT is co-operating with the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to study the possibility of using CNG in railway engines. A pilot project is set for a train that run between Bangkok and Chonburi by using Energy Conversions Inc. (ECI, USA.) technology to install Cummins KTA – 50L engine illustrated as follows : A conversion kit to be applied to the engines of a locomotive enables them to use natural gas as supplemental fuel, mixing natural gas with diesel (dual fuel). The system is designed to be automated and be capable of
operating the engine without operator intervention. It uses sensors to detect the necessary operational variables to determine when the operation in dual fuel mode is acceptable. The system, of course, may be switched to only diesel mode if desired and is fully fail safe. In the event of power loss it switches the engine to diesel while still generating electrical power. The dual fuel mode of engine operation is nearly identical to the diesel mode.

The switch to dual fuel commences when all of the variables are within proper limits such as minimum level of power and engine speed. The operation starts by opening an automated gas cutoff valve and then positioning the gas flow control valve so that the diesel is reduced as the gas is injected into the engine. The controller continues to monitor the variables and controls the gas to diesel ratio. The controller has a system information screen whereby the sensor readings and control system parameters can be viewed. The controller uses an indicator light to provide “at a glance” status of the system to indicate whether it is on gas. In addition to the engine systems system, a high flow, high Pressure Reduction Skid is used to take the high pressure stored fuel, filter it, reduce the pressure in two stages, provide over pressure protection in case of malfunction and heat the gas with engine water. Gas heating is regulated with a control valve. The PRS is designed to automatically stop the gas
supply to the locomotive under certain conditions. It is designed for 3,600 psi maximum supply, delivering heated gas at approximately 25 psi to the locomotive. It is designed to deliver the necessary gas flow when supply pressure (tanks nearly empty) is only 150 psi. It is designed to be located on the fuel tender car. Along with the PRS are quick disconnect fitting sets for connection of the tender car to the locomotive. The commissioning is expected to be on August 2005.

2. NGV in Fishery Vessel Project. Due to the recent increase in diesel price, natural gas has been viewed as a potential substitute for diesel in the effort to offset the fuel cost increase. In order to demonstrate the possibility of using natural gas in fishery vessels, a pilot project has been implemented. Despite the lack of fueling infrastructure in southern Thailand, 2 small fishing boats are planed to use natural gas in this demonstration project. Current engines in these boats are automotive diesel engines with the power output of around 165 horsepower. Diesel Dual Fuel (DDF) type conversion is thought to be the most suitable method of conversion considering the NGV fueling infrastructure and the risk
of running out of natural gas in the ocean during fishing operation. The conversions will complete in July 2005 and their evaluation will follow.

3. LNG Plant and LCNG Service Station Project PTT are supervising one local company (Cryotech Co.Ltd.) to set up the first LNG plant in Pitsanuloke, 300 km north of Bangkok using gas from Nongtoom Oilfield owned by PTT Exploration and Production Plc.(one of PTT’s subsidiaries). The plant is designed to produce LNG at 16 tons/day by using feed gas at 1.5 MMCFD. The LNG product will be transported in a special truck to the refueling stations, so called “LCNG service station”, that has a vaporizer to change the liquid to gas.

A conventional absorption process as well as low temperature technology (Cryogenics) will be used to purify and liquefy associated gas from the oil well. Gas containing hydrocarbons and impurities, mainly carbon dioxide, will be treated in a structured packing column and dried in a molecular sieve bed. Sweetened gas will be cooled in a high efficiency brazed aluminum heat exchanger. Heavy hydrocarbons in the gas will be condensed and separated by its boiling point temperature. The condensate is then boiled and washed in tower columns to make LPG. The main gas stream containing methane (over 90 mol%), is further cooled to –155 C and changed to liquid by a cold stream of nitrogen gas created from a cryogenic process known as Nitrogen Recycle System. The product LNG is stored in a double walled vacuum insulated vessel, waiting to be transported by semi trailer truck to the NGV refueling station.


From the above details we may draw conclusions as follows:
1. A good start has been made by installing a sufficient number of refueling facilities to assure vehicle users of refueling convenience.
2. Following the government support measures and commitment, our NGV Roadmap is firmly in place.
3. After a long period of learning, Thailand has accumulated adequate experience and personnel for further development.
4. A fuel price incentive of more than 50% is attractive to vehicle owners for NGV conversions or replacement of their existing vehicles with NGVs. In addition, the reduction of import duties is another important incentive for switching from gasoline or diesel to NGV.
5. With a long history of safety in using NGV worldwide and successful publicity, the public perception has been positive.
6. The success of greater NGV utilization can only be accomplished by cooperation with other relevant organizations.
7. Having been through hardships in establishing NGV utilization, with a series of mistakes, Thailand has become one of the more experienced NGV implementers in Asia.

Commonwealth of Ind. States (Former Soviet Union) Country Report September 05

– First NGVs in 1939
– Large scale programs commenced in 1980
– Six country members of CIS continuing NGV Programs
– Ukraine, Russian and Armenian NGV markets expanding
– CNG price drives CIS markets
– 1,000,000 vehicles, 1,000 fueling stations target for 2020


The environmental and economic advantages of compressed natural gas were understood by Soviet scientists as far back as in the 1930’s. The first CNG filling stations and NGVs were commissioned for regular operation in 1939. Italian engineers were introducing NGVs at the same time. Unfortunately before WW II the USSR could not execute effective NGV programs.

The country returned to the NGV concept only in 1980. The national leadership had resolved to develop and implement a large-scale program aimed at massive substitution of oil-based transportation fuels with natural gas. By the end of 1990 the Soviet Union had built 357 CNG filling stations in all 15 republics. Cylinder and gas equipment production was launched. Compressor equipment was supplied by Russian, Ukrainian, German and Italian companies. In 1990 NGVs consumed 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

In 1990 there were 350,000 NGVs in the former Soviet Union (FSU). Three major truck manufacturers – the ZIL, GAZ and KAMAZ plants – were selling OEM NGV trucks. Almost all types of light, medium and heavy-duty gasoline and diesel engines were reengineered to use natural gas. Cars, buses, trucks, railway engines, air and watercraft were using CNG and LNG. Agricultural and stationary engines powered by natural gas were also developed.

In 1991 the Soviet Union gave birth to 15 individual states. Some of them have joined a regional international organization, the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Six country members – Armenia, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine – kept their national NGV programs running. Now let us look at them, country by country, from the smallest to the biggest NGV markets.


The number of NGVs and volumes of consumed CNG kept diving from 1991 through 2000. Increasing oil prices have since made natural gas more attractive and the Moldavian NGV market is now growing again.

The price differential between gasoline, diesel fuel and natural gas is the major driving force. There is no dedicated NGV legislation in Moldova. However the price for CNG is favorable (0.18 €/ncm): 42% of diesel and 36% of gasoline prices. This is actually the only incentive for the drivers to switch on to natural gas. NGV related equipment – conversion kits, cylinders and compressors – are imported.

Although Moldova does not produce oil or natural gas, CNG is becoming more popular. Since 1991, five new compressor stations have been commissioned. After 2000 the sales of CNG started growing and have reached the 1998 level of 14.2 Mcm. One may conclude that Moldavian NGV market is still to wake up though.


Since 1991 Belarus has built five new CNG filling stations. All compressor stations belong to the ‘Beltransgaz’ company, which is responsible for gas transportation, underground storage and supply to the local distribution companies. All Byelorussian CNG filling stations are linked in to a single computerized data collection system.
In October 2003 the Byelorussian Cabinet of Ministers approved a national NGV program, which aims to triple the number of NGVs by 2010 and build 44 new daughter stations.

Belarus has OEM truck and bus factories and also produces agricultural and communal tractors. This could be a very fertile ground for the Byelorussian gas equipment manufacturer, the Novogrudok plant, which will definitely be part of the national NGV program.

CNG retail price looks attractive (0.25 €/ncm): it is 60 % of diesel and 50% of gasoline. However there is a strong competition with LPG which is rather cheap in Belarus (0.22 € per liter).

Sales of CNG for automotives were sliding down to 26.5 Mcm in 2002. In the past two years we have seen a small growth to 27 Mcm in 2004. The implementation of the national program will hopefully expand the Byelorussian NGV market.


Unlike Moldova or Belarus the NGV market in Tajikistan is growing very fast. In 1991 there were only 3 CNG filling stations in that country. Now they have 53. Since 1998 – the worst NGV year for the country – the sales of CNG have increased by 23 times from 1.8 to 41 Mcm in 2004.

Tajikistan has very small, almost negligible, oil and gas resources. Domestic oil and gas production covers only 1% and 4% of the national demand respectively. Despite this, prices for motor fuels in Tajikistan are at the same level as in other CIS countries. CNG costs 0.21 €/ncm.

Tajikistan makes neither compressors, nor cylinders, nor gas equipment for CNG vehicles. All NGV related technologies are imported. The country brings in a lot of second-hand equipment.

NGVs make up about 7% of the national on-road fleet. In 2004 an average Tajik NGV consumed a little less than 4,000 ncm per year, which is similar to other CIS nations. The Tajikistan NGV market will keep growing.

Armenia. In the past seven years the Armenian NGV market has increased by 4.5 times. Today every 10th vehicle in Armenia runs on natural gas. Last year they consumed 110 Mcm of natural gas, approximately 4,000 ncm per vehicle.
Armenia does not produce oil or gas. All mineral fuel is imported. Nevertheless, CNG prices stimulate the market: 0.26 €/ncm, which is 61% of diesel and 53% of gasoline. Since 1991 Armenia has built 42 CNG filling stations and today there are 47 compressor stations in that country.

In 2003 there were 28,000 NGVs in Armenia. Current plans are to add 10 thousand NGVs every year increasing to a total of 78 thousand NGVs in 2008. A lot of equipment has to be imported in the near future to Armenia, because there is no domestic production of NGV related equipment. 78,000 NGVs is probably too bold a task. On the other hand natural gas is the only practical solution for a good deal of environmental and socio-economic problems associated with on-road transportation.
One of the more urgent challenges for the Armenian government is to develop and enforce modern NGV legislation and regulations.

Russia. Russia is the second CIS country in terms of sales of natural gas and NGV population. In 1998 a renaissance on the Russian NGV market began. The sales of compressed natural gas for vehicles grow about 20% every year. Last year 45 thousand Russian NGVs consumed 173 Mcm.

Russian industry manufactures all types of NGV equipment for CNG filling, storage or use. However the growing demand could not be met with domestic products.
CNG price is limited by the government and can not be higher than 50% of the low grade gasoline. CNG costs 0.20 €/ncm, that is 46 % of diesel of and 39% of gasoline. The price differential is actually the only market driver. Since last September we have been lobbying the federal government on alternative transportation fuels.

The major role in the rebirth of the Russian NGV market belongs to Gazprom which was maintaining the network of filling stations, financing R&D, promoting the NGV philosophy among politicians and general public. 5,700 company vehicles out of 28,000 are NGVs.

Ukraine. Ukraine is the NGV leader in the former Soviet Union. There are 145 CNG filling stations and 67,000 NGVs in the country. Ukraine holds the 5th place in the world in terms of CNG sales. Last year Ukrainian NGVs have consumed 550 million m3 which is more than in Germany or even in Italy.

Ukraine is a well developed NGV nation. It manufactures cylinders, filling stations and gas transporters. Strangely there is no gas equipment production in the country.

CNG price encourages the individual drivers and fleets to use natural gas instead of gasoline or diesel. Among other drivers of the NGV market is Federal Law on the use of alternative fuels and a National NGV program.

Prices. The prices of CNG in the C.I.S. countries are significantly lower than prices of gasoline or diesel. The price differential is actually the only NGV market driver in this part of the world however, it has been a strong incentive in the past five years.

CNG Sales. In my opinion the amount of CNG sold to NGVs is best market indicator. If there are no systematic official statistics about the NGV population one can not be sure about the accuracy of the real numbers of methane powered vehicles. What we have today are plus/minus estimates. I think that data about actual sales of gas are more trustworthy, because this information is coming from gas transportation & distribution companies.

From that prospective CNG market in the C.I.S. is growing fast. Since 1998 Ukraine and Armenia increased the sales of gas to vehicles by 4 times. Russia has almost tripled consumption of CNG. In 2004 Tajikistan has sold 20 times more CNG than in 1998. Belarus and Moldova are not that fast, but they are on the rise now.

General market analysis. The cumulative data for C.I.S., presented below, convincingly demonstrate the growth of the NGV market after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. We have more CNG filling stations now and sell almost the same amount of gas to vehicles as 14 years ago.

The table below indicates where we were, where we are and where we plan to be by 2020.


















NGVRUS invites NGV industry members to GasSUF – The 3rd international specialized exhibition of gas supply and effective usage of gas.

Eugene Pronin,
NGV Branch Head, Gazprom, Russia
Executive Director, NGVRUS, Russia

South Korea Country Report June 05

– NGVs first introduced in 1992
– Buses main class of vehicle, followed by garbage trucks
– Significant price advantage for CNG
– Active Govt support

Natural Gas Vehicles

Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) have been operating on South Korean roads since 1992, increasing in number after 1997 due to air quality concerns and the focus on Seoul for the World Cup of Soccer, in June 2000.

Buses form the majority of NGVs on South Korea’s roads, with 6,600 operational currently and another 2,400 due to be introduced by the end of 2005, rising to 20,000 by 2010. 41 garbage trucks are also operational, with this number expected to rise to 106 by the end of 2005 and 800 by 2010. Recently, older diesel trucks servicing other industries have also been retrofitted to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Conversions of light duty vehicles and cars have also occurred in small numbers.
Natural Gas Vehicles in Korea currently use CNG or LNG, however there are already seven districts where the possibility of LFG (landfill gas or biogas) vehicles has been anticipated. Initial applications for LFG are likely to be garbage trucks.

OEMs currently supplying NGVs (buses) include: Kia Motors (Hyundai Motor Company), Daewoo Bus Corp, Samsung, and SSangyong.

Refuelling Infrastructure

At present there are 97 CNG refuelling stations in South Korea, of which 66 are pipeline or mother stations, with a total of 175 dispensers, and the remaining 31 being daughter stations, with a total of 81 dispensers. The total number of sites is expected to increase to 197 by the end of 2005 and 400 by 2007.

Fuel Pricing

CNG currently enjoys a significant price advantage over traditional liquid fuels and LPG. Fuel prices on a per liter equivalent basis include:

Gasoline 1.1 €/l ($US1.38)
Diesel 0.8 €/l ($US1.00)
CNG 0.37 €/l ($US0.46)
LPG 0.53 €/l ($US0.67)
With operational considerations taken into account, fuel costs for a CNG bus are roughly half those of diesel, 0.17 € ($US0.21)/km as opposed to 0.344 €($US0.42)/km.

Government Policy

The Korean government plays a direct, active and important role, including providing fiscal support through a range of different projects. The main projects include G-7 (G-8) project, Eco-Technopia 21 project, Investment Plan for the Eco-Technopia 21 Project, Major Outcomes of Eco-Technopia 21, Corporate Environmental Management, and Environmental Industry.

(Details of these can be found here)

Government initiatives to support NGVs and reduce emissions include:
















NB – At time of publishing $US1 = 1,200 Korean Won

More information available at and