By Dalga Khatinoglu
Supplying liquid fuels to Iran's power plants decreased 2.5 times during last 45 days to 10 million liters per day.
Director of the supply and distribution division at NIOPDC, Hossein Aghayan told Shana May 13 that during the last four days, Iran supplied 3 million liters of fuel oil as well as 7 million liters diesel to power plants respectively.
During Iran's last fiscal year, which ended March 20, liquid fuels burning in the power sector also increased dramatically.
The country increased gas supply to power plants by 33.6 percent to about 49 billion cubic meters per annum (bcm/a) and decreased fuel oil and gasoline consumption by 32.6 percent to 28.1 million liters per day and 24.2 percent to 25.3 million liters per day in last fiscal year.
Iran is to increase natural gas delivery to power plants to 57 bcm in current year.
Iran reportedly increased gas production capacity by 100 mcm/d last year and wants to increase the volume in same pace during the current year. However, Iran needs 70 bcm/a of gas delivery to thermal power plants to stop burning liquid fuels in this sector completely.
The country increased power production capacity by 2.871 GW last year, of which 2.242 GW was produced by thermal power plants. These power plants share 82 percent of Iran's total 73.149 GW power generation capacity. The statistics indicate that new installed thermal electricity stations carried out about 80 percent of total power generation growth in the last year. Therefore, it seems the country would boost this kind of power plants in future and needs more gas delivery to this sector.
First of all, the lower price of gas versus liquid fuel creates an opportunity for Iran to economize significantly. For instance, as Iranian officials say, the country economized $6 billion from replacing natural gas with liquid fuels last year.
On the other hand, according to the official statistics some 222 million tons of the pollutants were produced as a result of using fossil fuel in power generation in 2013. This means that about 37 percent of CO2 emission in Iran was caused by power plants in the mentioned year.
Air pollution costs $16 billion for Iranians annually, according to the World Health Organization. Iran ranks 7th place in term of producing CO2 in the world by producing above 600 million tons of CO2 annually.
Iran also should optimize the efficiency of thermal power plants, which stand at 37 percent on average.
Iran needs about $700 million to $850 million to increase power plants efficiency by 1 percent, according to Iranian officials.
Edited by CN
Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector, head of Trend Agency's Iran news service
Follow him on @dalgakhatinoglu