|United Arab Emirates. Source: EIA|
Gulf News. Within five to six years, 20% of government-owned vehicles and taxis in Abu Dhabi—one of the emirates of the UAE—will be running on compressed natural gas, according to the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD).
A report by the agency identifies taxis, buses and government-owned vehicles, such as municipality and police cars, as the most polluting vehicles in the emirate.
In conjunction with other agencies and oil companies, the agency has drawn up a strategy that will:
Convert 20% of government-owned vehicles and taxis in the emirate to run on CNG by 2012; and
Convert all government diesel vehicles to run on Ultra Low Sulfur Fuel (10ppm) with at least Euro 3 emission limits by 2012;
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has installed a CNG filling station to initiate the introduction of the new vehicle fuel.
A study by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai found that vehicles contribute to 80% of environment pollution in the emirate, followed by factories.
In a bid to reduce the rising pollution levels, the RTA will not renew the registration of cars which are more than 15 years old, as the amount of carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons emitted from old vehicles is higher.
Other alternatives supported by RTA to keep the pollution levels in check include limiting the use of private vehicles and switching to public transport, using natural gas instead of other fuels like petrol and diesel and using equipments like catalytic converters and exhaust filters. Vehicles will be regularly inspected for their pollution levels and international standards will be adopted shortly.
The UAE is a federation of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, and Umm al-Qaiwain. According to Oil and Gas Journal (1/1/06), the UAE’s natural gas reserves of 214.4 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) are the world’s fifth largest after Russia, Iran, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. (US EIA).