posted on 01/03/2011: 859 views
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) is working on some of its petrol stations in the Northern Emirates to accommodate compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel distribution network and creating specialised garage facilities to convert vehicles on diesel or petrol to CNG use.
At least three petrol stations in Sharjah are getting ready to sell CNG gas.
The Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV) project is progressing as per schedule and more Adnoc stations will be dispensing CNG.
"We have been working for a few months to introduce CNG gas dispensing machines in some Adnoc petrol pumps. It is not yet operational,” said an Adnoc supervisor in Sharjah.
CNG vehicles operate and perform much like traditional petrol-based vehicles, and the transformation is subtle and unobtrusive. "The engine fuel intake will be modified and a reinforced compressed natural gas storage tank will be added. Once converted to operate on natural gas, the vehicle will be dual fuel as the petrol fuel system also remains in operation,” he said.
"This dual fuel arrangement will effectively double the travelling range of the vehicle between refuelling. Drivers can change between fuels by operating a simple switch inside the vehicle while the vehicle is moving,” the source added.
According to Adnoc website, more than eight million CNG vehicles are in operation in more than 50 countries worldwide and the popularity and availability of NGVs continue to grow.
A pilot NGV service station has been operational at Adnoc's Al Maha service station on Mina Road on a test basis for quite some time. The NG vehicle plans focus on 17 service stations - 10 in Abu Dhabi, five in Sharjah and two in Al Ain. Put together, the 17 stations will have a capacity to fill 10,000 cars per day.
Natural gas offers a real alternative to the economic and environmental issues associated with operating traditional petrol-and diesel-based vehicles.
"Operating natural gas vehicles typically costs 30 per cent less than the same vehicle using petrol. Engine maintenance costs for NGV's are also significantly lower than traditional petrol vehicles, and the life of motor oils and spark plugs is extended,” the company said.
NGV filling stations operate on the same ‘drive-through' principle as a traditional station and globally, there are nearly 7,000 in operation.
Adnoc Distribution planned to have nine vehicle conversion workshops for the conversion of existing petrol vehicles to operate on natural gas.
While all the new Adnoc petrol stations will have dedicated CNG dispensers, motorists will be able to save 50 per cent fuel cost, once the full infrastructure is in place. The dedicated workshops in specialised Adnoc petrol stations will have conversion kits to switch the vehicle from petrol or diesel to CNG.
Adnoc distribution has been embarked on a large scale project to design, build, own and operate a natural gas distribution network to serve the residential, commercial, industrial and the transportation sector.
"Currently we don't get any customer who wants to buy CNG, but in the long run the CNG section will also be busy. We will have a workshop to convert and adapt vehicles for natural gas usage,” the supervisor said.
At present two fuel metres have been installed for CNG sales, but the work is not yet complete. The new facilities coming up in specialised petrol stations will allow private vehicle owners to convert their vehicles for CNG use. – Emirates 24|7
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