Emirates Gas targets sales of 7,500 cubic metres of CNG a day
Emirates Gas (EMGAS), a subsidiary of the UAE’s ENOC, plans to deploy four compressed natural gas (CNG) ‘daughter stations’ this year as it looks to boost use of the fuel, touted as a clean alternative to gasoline and diesel.
A CNG daughter station is not connected to a natural gas pipeline, with the gas brought to the station via mobile storage.
“Our CNG sales target for 2016 is 7,500 cubic metres per day, for which the deployment of four daughter stations has already been finalised for the year 2016-17,” said Zaid Alqufaidi, managing director, ENOC Marketing.
“In the meantime, our growth plans focus mainly on enhancing our CNG network in Dubai and we will look to explore opportunities to expand in the Northern Emirates in the near future,” he told MEConstructionNews.com.
EMGAS recently signed with Al Ahli Group to set up a dedicated CNG daughter station to supply the organisation’s fleet with natural gas. The company is also working with the group to convert its 450-vehicle fleet to run on CNG. In addition, it has collaborated with Emirates Transport to set up a CNG daughter station, which will be operational by the end of March.
ENOC has paid special consideration to ensure that the price differential of liquid fuels and natural gas is regulated, Alqufaidi added. “This helps us ensure that the fleet operators find the use of CNG economical and commercially viable as compared to liquid fuels.”
Using natural gas results in a considerable reduction in exhaust gas emissions compared to petroleum-based products, due to its lower carbon content, he said. CNG produces 20-30% less greenhouse gas emission and 95% less tailpipe emission than petroleum products. “Also, because CNG fuel systems are completely sealed, CNG vehicles produce no evaporative emissions. This will significantly contribute to reducing carbon emissions.”
When asked how falling oil prices will impact demand for CNG, Alqufaidi pointed out that prices of natural gas worldwide are linked to oil prices. Hence, the oil price plunge also creates a significant drop in the price of CNG.
Refuelling infrastructure is a key issue in promoting the use of CNG to prevent long queues at stations, he noted. “That is why we collaborated with our partners to establish CNG daughter stations for the vehicle fleets to prevent this problem.”
While building more infrastructure is no doubt necessary, another challenge hindering more widespread CNG adoption is that converting engines to CNG requires investment. “Innovation to make this process easier, cost-effective and widespread is critical,” Alqufaidi added.