NGV activities gather momentum in the country
Egypt opened eight natural gas fueling stations during the first half of 2012
In light of the large-scale plans to expand the service to wider areas across the nation, that number of filling points have been inaugurated so far this year. Six of them are located in the public transport depots affiliated to Cairo & Alexandria Transport Authorities, serving both public buses –the facilities are well-equipped to fuel 600 buses per day at the first phase- and the private vehicles. A new fueling station was also opened in Minya Governorate (south of Egypt). The distribution network was extended a couple of years ago to Upper Egypt, which made it easier to establish several natural gas projects including the installation of CNG dispensing points.
"Setting up new CNG stations is showing so far the success and the on-going development of NGV activities in Egypt, which started in 1996. Besides, further plans and campaigns will be potentially devised to encourage converting vehicles and buses to CNG," the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Eng. Abdullah Ghorab said. By the end of June 2012, the number of natural gas fueling stations hence reached 159 and the CNG-converted vehicles amounted to over 173,000.
To ensure a wider spread of NGV use in the country, the gasoline stations are incorporating CNG fueling within their premises. On the other hand, cooperation with the vehicles assembling and manufacturing companies in Egypt is underway in order to convert vehicles to run on CNG on the production lines, in the context of the national project of replacing the old taxi cabs with new ones powered by CNG. Hyundai, BYD and Chevrolet are the frequent models used in this segment.
The Egyptian NGV authorities have already strengthened the main safety measures to ensure a safer operation of NGVs. They include testing the CNG cylinders installed in the converted vehicles, which is quite an important procedure to achieve the standard safety objectives. As a result, over 72,000 cylinders were tested till end of year 2011.
Other serious measures are being taken nowadays to cut the huge subsidies directed mainly to gasoline and diesel fuels, and that is why the CNG is seen as the best option due to its cheap price and availability.
For further information on natural gas vehicles market in Egypt and Africa in general, please read the online version of NGV Africa magazine.