Pakistan is accelerating its push to increase use of natural gas in the country for transportation as well as heating and power.
In a recent speech, President Musharraf committed to “take gas to all parts of Pakistan”, and said he has given a 1 January 2006 deadline for providing access to hard-to-access areas. (Pakistan Times)
Accordingly, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) on Monday announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai-based Star Petro Energy for the establishment of a mother-daughter gas distribution system.
Under the concept (similar to Shell’s approach in the Philippines—earlier post—and other regions in the world), a “mother” station will be installed to the nearest point from a highway where a natural gas pipeline is accessible.
Compressors at the mother station will then compress gas into high-capacity storage cylinders for transportation by truck to the daughter stations, which will be the retail outlets for the CNG.
PSO envisions CNG retail outlets at every 80–100 kilometers along the roads: “right from Karachi to Peshawar.”
Pakistan’s transport minister has also said that the government is working on a plan that will bring some 8,000 CNG-fueled buses to Pakistani roads during the next 5 years, accompanied by the phase-out of older diesel buses, taxis and 2-stroke rickshaws. (Daily Times)
Heavy diesels and 2-stroke engines will be banned in major cities by 2012.
Also recently, a Pakistan automaker, Transmission Motor Company, is planning to import CNG vehicles manufactured in China to the local market. (Daily Times)
A recent study by the environment ministry in Pakistan has found that the air quality in six major Pakistani cities is deteriorating rapidly. The number of vehicles in those cities has increased by some 300 percent in five years. (Earlier post.) Increased us of CNG is seen as one possible solution.
Pakistan is already third in the world in its use of natural gas vehicles, with some 800,000 units on its roads. Argentina remains the world leader, with some 1.5 million natural gas vehicles (NGVs), followed by Brazil with some 950,000.