Italy Country Report April 05

– NGV numbers continue to rise in Italy
– Increase in OEM participation and quality of aftermarket conversions
– 360-370,000 NGVs on Italy’s roads serviced by 510 refuelling stations
– CNG bus orders surpassing diesel buses
– Cylinder Exchange System maintains cylinder safety
– Govt programs supportive of continued growth

Number and types of natural gas vehicles

Italy, the “country of natural gas” has seen a rise in the NGV numbers in the past couple of years, due to a) a clear decision by the main car manufacturers to go into the NGV business, and b) aftermarket manufacturers being successful in complying with the new stringent Euro 4 and OBD regulations.

Aftermarket conversions rose to 30,000 in 2004, increasing 20% over the previous year, and the OEM cars and commercial vehicles were about 12,000, double the previous year. Thanks to the wide spectrum of models and to the good quality of Italian NGVs, sales for the start of 2005 are again double 2004 levels. The total number of NGVs is presently about 360-370.000 in Italy, the percentage of such vehicles being about 8% in the more “methanized” areas.

CNG urban buses are also proving successful in Italy and today number about 1,200, spread over almost 50 towns. In 2004 the number of CNG buses ordered was higher than diesel buses! Heavy duty trucks for garbage collection and downtown delivery are also available but their uptake is currently slower than expected.

Number and types of refuelling stations.

Refuelling stations have grown from 370 at the end of 2001 to more than 510 by the end of 2004. Thanks to the government and to the support of local authorities (see below), it seems that the chicken and egg cycle has been broken by the filling stations. Total gas sold for transportation is in the range of 440-445 million cubic meters per year, increasing slowly over time.

What is still missing in Italy is the allowance of self-service refuelling, in spite of the permission for such systems all over Europe.

The use of vehicle refuelling appliances (VRAs) is practically unknown, (the installation constraints being the same of the big stations) and actions are under way to alter the requirements in the legislation.

Price of CNG

CNG street price is now in the range of 0.7 €/kg, comparing with 1.25-1.30 €/kg for diesel fuel and to the 1.45 €/kg for gasoline, thanks to the very low excise. This is deemed by the authorities to be a primary incentive for the use of natural gas.

Cylinder Exchange System

Italy also has a unique CNG cylinder exchange system, operated by ENI, a majority Govt owned company, which is proving useful for maintaining safe cylinders throughout the country. Users purchase cylinders when they purchase or convert their vehicles. After 5 years the cylinder is exchanged for one which has already been inspected. R110 compliant cylinders are given a visual inspection while still in the vehicle. Cylinders that don’t pass inspection are destroyed. A surcharge of €0.015-0.02 per kg of CNG sold covers associated costs.

Government involvement and support

The first weeks of 2005 were very dry in Italy, and the particulate content of urban air rose well above the allowable limits, pushing local authorities to a) favour the use of natural gas (and of LPG) with incentives and b) restrict the circulation of older vehicles in urban areas.

There is presently a wide range of subsidies for the erection of natural gas filling stations, for both private fleet and public use. There is also a wide range of incentives for buying new gas vehicles. These go in parallel with the traffic restrictions for which gas vehicles are exempt.

Prospects for the NGV industry

The NGV industry is ready to follow this expansion in Italy, but also has very big business opportunities in the rest of the world, thanks to its quality. Italian equipment and components are sold in South America, in the Far East and in Russia. Some Italian companies are better known abroad than in Italy.

Overall assessment

Looking back to the last few years, signs are evident that the NGV business has started to grow seriously in Italy, thanks to the government support and traffic restrictions for the liquid-fuel vehicles, and thanks to the decision of national vehicle manufacturers to commit to natural gas vehicles.

What is still at the early stages is the task of educating the general public about NGVs but this situation is changing also as new communication campaigns have just started.

NGV Italy: www.ngvitaly.com/

Colombia Country Report October 04

– More than 35,000 NGV’s -Over 80 refuelling stations -Anual consumption amounts of 60 million+ cubic meters of gas -Steadily growing sales of 20% per year -Natural Gas used in all vehicle types.

NGV in Colombia

History

Colombia’s experience with NGV dates back to year 1984, when PROMIGAS S.A., the oldest private Colombian company in Latin America in natural gas transportation and distribution, installs the first NGV stations and conversion shops in the Atlantic Coast, in order to offer their customers an alternative fuel that would provide them a higher economy and operation security, and would additionally contribute in the reduction of the high pollution indexes that are affecting the environment. This is how the project started with public transportation, specifically with fuel powered buses, and slowly developing the initial conversion processes. At the beginning, many difficulties were found in order to convince fleet owners and managers of the product’s benefits. At the end of year 1999, gnc S.A. is established as a stand alone company, with the purpose of speeding up the business and making it grow all over the country. The arrival of natural gas to other country areas has allowed the business to have a satisfactory development in Bogotá (capital city), to the East and West of Colombia South America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, natural gas in Colombia is considered as an alternative fuel, not only for heavy vehicles as buses that consume large amounts of fuel, but also for small vehicle fleets such as taxicabs, vans, automobiles, etc. This is how other markets are being attended in the Atlantic Coast as well as in the inner zone of the country nowadays.

Since the late 1990’s till today, 80 new service stations have been built in Colombia in 16 different cities, and around 35.000 vehicles are now operating with natural gas, reaching consumption amounts of 60 million cubic meters of gas during 2003, which replaced the equivalent consumption of approximately 56 million gallons of fuel, and sales have been growing steadily 20% per year during the last three years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The expectations for 2004 are to increase the market penetration of taxicabs and individual vehicles by building new service stations through all the Colombian territory, with which the leadership in the national market is consolidated. In addition, it’s expected a 100% growth in conversions according to 2003 accomplishments and it’s projected to sell 27% more than the registered during the same period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
At the present time, gnc S.A. is the national leader in the NGV business, with NGV service stations in the cities of Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Montería, Sincelejo, Guajira, Bogotá, Cali, Armenia, Medellín, Tuluá, Pereira and Palmira. Of today’s existing 35.000 vehicles, 50% were converted in the last two years as follows:

 
The converted motor park market distribution in Colombia is conformed mostly by automobiles, most of them cabs with 42%, urban buses with 26% , vans and jeeps with 27% and trucks with 5%.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One may emphasize that the transport sector is constituted as the second important one over the total energy consumption in Colombia, with an approximate market participation of 31%; and also the largest atmosphere pollutant. Because of this, its participation in the national energetic basket and its effect over the economy, make it the main goal to guarantee an optimal energetic resource use in a medium term, wanting to achieve, among others, the following objectives:

• Cut off fuel consumption,
• Increase energetic efficiency,
• Reduce pollution,
• Diversify the fuels offer and
• Strengthen the commercial balance through the diminution of energy imports. The private natural gas industry sector in Colombia is one of the most dynamic ones, and with a strong potential for development in the country, due to large private investments, to the support of the national government and the development of a vast infrastructure.

1. NGV Consumption

The National Government reckons that with right market signs, the NGV program in the main cities of the country might increase its weight in the national energetic basket. Likewise, it will pass from having 2.2% of the total natural gas demand to 8.5% of the total estimated demand of this fuel for year 2010, achieving the economical and environmental benefits that the country needs. NGV’s participation in the total national consumption of natural gas during the year 2003 was 2.2%, which represents a 26% increase in NGV consumption regarding year 2002, due to an increase of 10.000 vehicles converted during 2003. To this phenomenon is added the great existing natural gas reserve availability (7,489.7 GPC3), that at a supply rate as the one had in year 2003, 573 MPCD, will provide available reserves for 34 years.

It must be acknowledged that exploration activities have decreased during the last few years and that will probably force us to buy international priced petroleum from the next years on. The reserves of our neighbor Venezuela establish a warranty for an eventual compliment of our actual reserves. It is then evident to conclude that there is an existing natural gas reserve availability for a successful development of Natural Gas Vehicles in Colombia.

2. Massive Transportation

As a result of the successful experience with the Transmilenio system in the city of Bogotá, Colombia’s main cities are willing to reorganize their public transportation system and offer into service integrated massive transportation systems with buses operating at surface level. Taking to account that the petroleum reserves let us have a 4-year self-sufficiency and due to the quality of the fuel produced in Colombia, the government is encouraging people to use natural gas as an alternative fuel for their vehicles. For this purpose it issued the October 2003 2988 Decree through the Ministry of Energy and Mines, that makes the operators of this projects consider the international price for Diesel (without subsidies). It must be said that Diesel fuel had a 60% subsidy, provided by the National government. Today this support goes down to 40% and it is expected to decrease gradually till it is totally eliminated in December 2005. It has been proven that the pollution emitted into the environment and the noise levels produced by natural gas vehicles are amazingly less than those produced by equivalent Diesel powered engines. The buses required for the future projects that are being developed for the cities of Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Pereira, Medellín and Bucaramanga, and the future extensions of Transmilenio goes over 1.000 vehicles. The following buses with natural gas powered engines are available in Colombia today: Since the end of year 2003 an Ikarus articulated bus, with natural gas engine, has been operating in Bogotá-Colombia in one of the Transmilenio system routes, with excellent results from both technical and economic points of view.

 

a) Articulated Bus, Ikarus (160 passengers) Since the end of year 2003 an Ikarus articulated bus, with natural gas engine, has been operating in Bogotá-Colombia in one of the Transmilenio system routes, with excellent results from both technical and economic points of view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

b) Feeder Bus; Mercedes Benz OH-1623-LG (110 passengers)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a) Articulated Bus Chassis; Renno 280 GA (160 passengers)

 

 

 

 

 
b) Articulated Bus Chassis; Renno 280G (110 passengers)

 

 

 

 

 

 
c) Renno mid-size bus 255-G (30 – 40 passengers)

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. System driven Operation

Nowadays, several cities of Colombia such as Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Sincelejo, Montería, Neiva, Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cali, Medellín, Armenia, among others, are using natural gas in approximately 35.000 vehicles, especially in public transportation.

Taking this to account, the competent authorities and the industry itself have identified the need of creating legal and technical regulations, guided so that every natural gas converted vehicle can be provided with fuel at any place of the country, under the fundamental premise of minimizing the possible security risks of the customers and the public in general. Many of these risks are present in the usage of any type of fuel, and, if not managed in the right way, may cause accidents affecting the development of the industry’s activities. The Colombian companies gnc S.A. and Gas Natural S.A. have been pioneer in the implementation of an automated sale control system in its entire refueling stations network. It is called “Joint Information Unique System (SUIC in Spanish)”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Through this system, any operation risk or the possibility of existence of a human error is minimized. Every vehicle has installed an electronic identification system that is qualified by the certifier at the time the conversion takes place and requalified during the car’s annual inspection. The system identifies the customer’s recorded information with an electronic device (Chip) and authorizes the fuel supply.

Several programs have been developed through this system:

-Settlement and sales administrative control (in cubic meters)
-Annual and 5-year inspection due date control
-Settlement and fuelling free collection of the conversions financing
-Sales and fidelity plans for frequent customers
-Customer post sales report: consumption per vehicles report, refuelling hours, consumption per service station, etc

The system allows vehicle identification and control of the complete NGV equipment for the annual and 5-year checking so that such vehicles are not supplied with fuel if the chip notices that it has not had the proper revision control. The Colombian NGV Industry remarks the adopted dispositions on the subject as a mean that will help guarantee security and create a quality culture around the NGV business.

4. National Government Support

After being proved by the private sector that natural gas is not only an alternate fuel for engine vehicles, but that represents a real substitution option for more expensive traditional fuels (subsided and less friendly with the environment), the industry of NGV will for the first time count with the means that allow it to take natural gas as fuel to many more users in different cities of the country. This support (NGV massification program) includes the cutback of taxes in the conversion kits, elimination of mechanic shops and service station implementation procedures, and the elimination of traditional fuel subsidies. Besides, the government is conscious of the favor this would do to the country’s economy by finding a substitute for fuel imports, with the consequent foreign currency savings. Essentially, these instruments are the incentives regarding the commercial discounts to those new clients interested in converting their vehicles to natural gas fuel that could be provided today. This discount is the result of an alliance between the producers (Colombian Petroleum Company ECOPETROL-Government and CHEVRON TEXACO), conversion workshops, transporters (ECOGAS), fleet owners, dealers and marketing managers, among those gnc S.A., and the purpose is to offer incentives in order to increase the NGV conversions and as a consequence, NGV consumption. There are proposals to promote the use of natural gas in public transportation with vehicle parts that could be made in Colombia. It is not a secret that a greater use of natural gas increases economic global competitiveness by means of a diminution of transportation costs.

5. The future of NGV in Colombia Conversion Goals

According to the established goals for the next five years, the NGV program in the country estimates the conversion of nearly 200.000 new vehicles that constitute the actual potential market.
Service Stations

It is expected to build 200 new service stations during the next 5 years, in order to reach a total amount of 280 at the end of the year 2010, which represents investment needs of US$ 550.000 per station.
Conversion Shops

Mechanical workshops constitute a fundamental element in the development of the program because their job is to assure the security and safety during the vehicle maintenance. The number of workshops to build depends on their own average conversion capacity, and it has been calculated in 50 units per month. There are around 20.000 new conversions expected for the present year, which will require an amount of approximately 70 workshops. Nowadays, the country has the necessary infrastructure to double the actual conversion rate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It can be concluded then, that the massive natural gas program will have a considerable advance during the present year, achieving important economic and environmental benefits for the country. A new era is opened for this energetic today in Colombia; after 20 years, we are still successful in public fleet transport: taxicabs, large and mid-size buses.

Iran Country Report October 2004

The first activities to use Natural Gas in transportation in Iran have been started since 30 years ago. At first LNG was chosen as an alternative fuel but because of impact of LNG providing, the government could not continue this program. In the recent years, economic and environmental problems, which were caused by gasoline and diesel vehicles, have made the government to seek for a green and more economic fuel. Technical researches show that CNG is the best option for Iran. This paper describes Iran NGV roadmap from economic, environmental and technical points of view.

NGV reservoirs of Iran

Evaluation of natural gas reservoirs of Iran shows that 16 percent of the total amount of natural gas reservoirs of the world, exist in Iran [1]. This means that 26.6 trillion cubic meters (over 900 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas are discovered which makes Iran the second ranked country in the world, having great natural gas reservoirs. But the amount of extraction and production of NG is not proportional to reservoirs content. With extraction of 55.6 million cubic meters of NG at 2000, Iran has the 11th place in the NG producer ranking [2]. Considering the ratio of extraction rate by the amount of reservoirs, which is 0.02 percent, Iran has a good potential for natural gas development. It has been considered to increase the amount of NG production in the coming years. So the government has invested widely in developing natural gas discovering, extraction, production and distribution.

The reasons of choosing CNG Economic reasons

Fuel consumption of vehicles in Iran is so much in comparison with other countries. Figure 1 shows the average fuel consumption per day of the vehicles in some countries [3]. This is the most important point that makes the government to substitute an alternative fuel by gasoline and gasoil. In the year 2004, fuel consumption of transportation equaled to 56 million litters of gasoline per day. The government has to import 34 percent of this amount of gasoline from other countries which are competitors of Iran in oil industry. Also the government paid 3.1 billion USD for fuel subsides in this year. Figure 2 shows amount of gasoline production and consumption in transportation [4]. Prediction shows that in the period of 20 years (2001-2021) total shortage of gasoline would be equal to 521 billion litters. So considering the huge contents of NG reservoirs and also low price of NG fuel in Iran (3 cents per cubic meter), natural gas is chosen as a suitable alternative fuel. Although the specific fuel consumption of NG engines is less than similar gasoline engines, if we consider them to be equal, economic advantages of using natural gas instead of gasoline would be about 4.5 Billion USD in the year of 2004. Table 1 shows economic evaluation of converting different kinds of vehicles to NGV [5,6]. In addition, more than 2.5 million gasoline and diesel on-road vehicles in Iran have been produced based on old technology. So it is necessary to substitute these inefficient cars with new ones. Government can achieve three goals by using NGV technology. First it can decrease fuel consumption. Second it can replace the old vehicles by the new ones. Third it can save a huge amount of economic resources by decreasing gasoline imports.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because of geographical dispersion of cities in Iran, construction of natural gas infrastructures (including extraction, refinement, transfer and distribution) requires large amount of investment. So the government has not chosen natural gas as a main fuel, but as an alternative fuel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because of environmental considerations NG is known as a green fuel in Iran. Generally natural gas fuel produces less emission than gasoline and gasoil. Figure 3 shows the amount of emission of different burned fuels. As can be seen most of the pollutants, especially SOX and CO, decrease by using natural gas. Most of the big cities in Iran (like Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad and Shiraz) are suffering from air pollution and this has caused a lot of economic and human damages. Table 2 shows the human damages cost in Tehran and Figure 4 shows statistics of deaths in Tehran due to air pollution [9] Using NG could decrease these damages by decreasing the pollutants, especially PM10, CO and SOX pollutants. The emission of diesel engines of public transportation fleet is so much due to old technology. Also produced diesel fuel contains so much sulfur which causes SOX emission and corrosion problems in engine. So by using NG in public transportation many advantages are achieved.

Promotion programs

In order to insure the progress of using of natural gas as an alternative fuel, the government has established an organization named IFCO (Iranian Fuel Conservation Organization). IFCO is responsible for programming and managing the progress of using natural gas in transportation. Also the Department of Environment, that plays supervisory role in natural gas executive programs, is one of the key role players in this progress. The main role of IFCO is to balance between cost, conservation and environmental considerations in the progress of substitution of natural gas. IFCO has provided “NGV Master Plan for Iran” which contains all steps and details of NGV promotion program in Iran. NGV master plan for Iran has six main subjects: 1- Feasibility study 2- Conversion Policy 3- Macro and micro economical evaluation for a large NGV conversion program 4- The method of investing for earning investments 5- Conceptual design of filling station and vehicle systems 6- Basic and detail design of filling stations Overall conversion policy including 3 phase: introduction, development and mature phase. Executive policy for using natural gas instead of gasoline and gasoil is based on four axis: • Manufacturing of heavy and light duty NGVs • Converting gasoline and diesel engines to natural gas engines • Providing CNG for manufactured and converted NGVs • Supporting NGV customers Natural gas promotion program is based on using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). This program would not seriously include other forms of natural gas fuels (like LNG and LPG), because of technological and economic reasons. The followings describe main points of natural gas substitution program.

NGV Technology development

Number of CNG stations in Iran does not satisfy number of NGVs. So it is very important to convert them as bi-fuel engines, which can use both gasoline and CNG fuels. As a result, one of the important parts of natural gas substitution program is installing gas kit on gasoline vehicles. The development of bi-fuel technology depends on working and researching in the field of CNG tanks, natural gas ECUs, catalyst converters and gas injectors. In the field of public transportation fleet, the manufacturers have produced CNG buses and these buses have been successfully in service in recent years. Dual fuel engines are the second choice instead of diesel engines. As an example OM355 engine (which is the diesel engine of so many buses in Iran) was converted to dual fuel engine and tested successfully. Converting gasoline engine of taxies to Bi-fuel engines is another phase of public transportation fleet project. There are some reasons that prevent to develop natural gas dedicated engines technology in Iran. One of them is the economic and technological impossibilities to manufacture a huge amount of natural gas dedicated engines in a short term program. The other one is lack of fuel stations, especially in highways. So the process of producing NG dedicated engines is not a primary solution. Some powertrain research and development centers in Iran, like IPCO (Irankhodro Powertrain Co.), have projects to design and produce dedicated natural gas engines. But Results of these programs would be used in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manufacturing programs to produce NGVs It has been planed to produce CNG vehicles in car manufacturing companies. IKCO (Irankhodro Company) and SAIPA which are the main car manufacturers in the country, are working on some projects to produce NGVs. Also in order to provide CNG buses for public transportation, Irankhodro Diesel Company (the main bus manufacturer in Iran), is producing CNG buses. Figure 6 shows the capacity of OEMs to produce new CNG vehicles in the coming years [10].

Governmental programs

According to the NGV master plan, by the year of 2020, 46 to 70 percent of the total vehicles in Iran must be NGVs and 2950 to 4500 fuel stations must have been constructed. Followings are the abstract of the activities which are done in order to ensure the achievement of these goals.
Substitution of on road vehicles by NGVs

Conversion of gasoline and diesel engines to NGVs is the most important part of natural gas substitution program. In NGV master plan for Iran, it has been planed to have 650 thousand NGVs. Half of these NGVs would be converted and other half would be produced. The conversion is done in conversion workshops. These workshops are constructed by the cooperation of government and private section. There are three categories of conversion workshops. The first one is specially for converting diesel engines. The second one is for mini-buses and in the third one, cars and vans are converted. Table 3 shows the number of converted different types of vehicles up to May 2005 [11].

 

 

 

 

Public transportation

It’s very important to substitute public transportation fleet vehicles by NGVs in a short time, because of environmental advantages of using CNG in these vehicles. So it has been planned to construct special conversion workshops for these vehicles. Also specific fuel stations are being constructed to improve the fueling of public transportation fleet NGVs. Table 4 shows the number of taxies, buses and mini-buses which must be converted in Tehran up to year 2006. 66 percent of the total converted cars in public transportation fleet are taxies. These taxies are converted to bi-fuel. 33 percent are buses and minibuses which are converted to CNG engines.


 

 

 

 

Fuel stations

The first phase of NGV master plan is based on constructing 480 CNG fuel stations in Iran. It means one fuel station for every 1600 NGVs. Figure 7 shows the considered number of stations needed in CNG program [12]. Construction of fuel stations is also done by the cooperation of government and private sections. Table 5 shows economic costs evaluation of constructing CNG fuel stations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Private section support

The government is supporting the private section in order to improve the capacity of this section in NGV technology. Followings are some examples of these supports: • The conversion workshops, in which vehicles are converted to NGVs, are constructed by the cooperation of government and private section. • The government supports the private section to construct fuel stations. • R&D organizations which work in the field of fuel tanks, stations and NGV technology are supported [13].

Subsides

Subsides are the most effective tools of the government. This tool can ensure that the consumers will choose natural gas instead of gasoline and diesel. The government pays subsides for converting on-road vehicles to NGVs. So each person by converting his car to NGV, will pay 15 percent (55 USD) of the total cost of conversion. Also the government has decreased the gasoline subsides and as a result the consumers would like to use CNG fuel instead of gasoline. (the cost of CNG is ¼ of the cost of gasoline)

Public Education

As the changes occurred in the environment are related to human’s behavior, so it plays an outstanding role in energy consumption and environment saving programs. That leads the government to pay a great attention to public educations, as well aseconomical and technical aspects and apply the foreseen budget changes in the third development program. IFCO, with the help of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has made vast propagandistic activities in order to conduct public attentions to fuel conservation and specially replacing natural gas, as a green alternative fuel, with other kinds of fuel. These activities include all means of mass media; carrying on related gatherings and seminars especially annually conferences on “Clean Air Day”. There are some examples of these programs: • First Energy Consumption Optimization forum in vehicle industry, October 2004 • First forum of alternative fuel (CNG) and natural gas vehicles (NGV), May 2004 • International Environment exhibition of Tehran, July 2004 • CNG exhibition, February 2005 • 8th International exhibition of Oil, Gas & Petrochemical Industries (IOGPE), Specified in Gaseous conversions • International vehicle exhibition of Tabriz • Second International forum of Internal Combustion Engines, January 2002 IFCO has also made a specified section for children in different ages which make them able to play games or puzzles and read subjects which educates them proper energy consumption from early ages.

Environmental

There has been a need for supervisory organization, which is independent from other organization of government, to guarantee the quality and quantity of the performance of government plans. Department of Environment in Iran is responsible for this important task. In addition, Department of Environment must specify and declare necessary pollution limits and standards, in order to control the air pollution. By means of this power, Department of Environment is the policy maker of air pollution control in Iran and could enforce the manufacturers to produce NGV and impel the consumers to use CNG vehicles. This organization is the supervisor of vehicle converting and substituting programs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development

Generally research and development activities in Iran are too weak and university researches could not properly be transferred to the industry. In the recent years, researches on NGV materials extensively increased both in universities and industries R&D section. University researches mainly focused on [14]: • Dual fuel natural gas engines • Bi-fuel NGV • Gas injection simulation and analyses • CNG tank • Technical, Economical and environmental assessment of NGVs production In the industrial filed, IPCO (Irankhodro Powertrain Co.) is the leadership of research and development in the filed of internal combustion engines so various projects related to NGV are run there, like design and manufacturing of dedicated natural gas engine and design and production of ECU for bi-fuel engines. Some car manufacturers recently established a center to do research and development on NGV especially on NG engines.

NGV market in Iran

Comprehensive NGV promotion programs, as mentioned, require huge investments. The more important fields that investments were focused are: • Extraction and distribution facilities • Fuel infrastructure and CNG fuel station including NG compressor, piping and sealing, fueling facilities and measurement and controlling devices • New NGV producing by OEMs • Converting equipments like gas kits and CNG tanks’ Figure 8 shows required annual investment for NGVs manufacturing and converting and CNG filling station in the period of 20 years. Based on presented data, Iran could be a great market for NGVs related materials. Although the most required equipments were imported from other countries (especially Italy, Germany, Denmark and Canada), some of these are planned to be manufactured in Iran under the license of original manufacturer. For example production line of some fueling facilities would be utilization by the help of a foreign partner in the near future. Based on information from IFCO contracts have already been signed for a ramp start of phase 1 of NGV master plan, indicating a total number of NGVs in the first fiveyear period of 1 million OEMs and 900,000 conversions. This will imply some 2,000 filling stations in five years [15]. This tremendous build-up cannot be done with Iranian products due to lack of domestic production of the required equipment. Hence, the rapid increase of the NGV business in Iran will create a huge demand of equipment in the world market. Worldwide production capacity should also be considered. Long-term agreements with major suppliers will be required [16,17].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References 1- World Energy Council, “Survey of Energy Resources 2004”, “Crude oil and natural gas liquids”, 2004 2- See Ref.1 3- IFCO, “NGV Master plan for Iran”, “CNGV Conversion Policy and Statistics”, 2002 4- See Ref.3 5- IFCO, “NGV Master plan for Iran”, “Macro and micro economic evaluation for large conversion programme“, 2002 6- IFCO, “NGV Master plan for Iran”, “NGV feasibility study”, 2002 7- See Ref.5 8- See Ref.5 9- Department of Environment, “Comprehensive economic evaluate of human damages caused by air pollution in Tehran”, Dariush Farhoud (Executive manager), Final report, September 2002 10- See Ref.3 11- IFCO, “Weekly Analytical statistics of converted vehicles in workshop conversion section”, May 2005 12- See Ref.3 13- See Ref.3 14- Iranian Information and Documentation Center database (website address: http://www.Irandoc.ac.ir) 15- See Ref.3 and Ref.5 16- IFCO, “NGV Master plan for Iran”, “Conceptual design of filling station and vehicle system”, 2002 17- IFCO, “NGV Master plan for Iran”, ”Basic and detail design of filling stations”, 2002