Iranian CNG Program at Crossroads

Iran’s 3rd annual NGV Conference and Exhibition, held in Tehran last
month, has demonstrated considerable change in circumstances since their
2nd conference
in June of last year. Iran now has more than 2 million natural gas
vehicles (NGVs) on their roads, serviced by 1474 CNG fuelling stations.
This makes them the second largest users of NGVs in the world after
their next door neighbour, Pakistan. While continued growth for the
program is certain, what is less certain at the moment is at what pace
it will continue.

Among other things, additional capacity to produce gasoline through
local refineries is expected to come online sometime next year. This
takes pressure off the country to continue their CNG program at the
current pace. Though the country has substantial oil reserves, they have
relied heavily on imported gasoline to date due to insufficient local
refining capacity. The cost of these imports, along with the possibility
of sanctions which could restrict them, was the original stimulus for
the CNG program which puts the country’s vast natural gas reserves to

While the conference provided an opportunity to celebrate the success
of the program so far, there was also some honest … >>>

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