(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Mowasalat yesterday signed an agreement to jointly study the feasibility of introducing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to fuel public transport vehicles in Qatar.
The use of CNG around the world today is growing at an annual rate of between 20-25 percent with much of it being in the public transport sector where increasingly governments, local authorities and public transport companies are looking to substitute diesel and petrol with more environmentally-friendly fuels to improve air quality, a QP press note said.
CNG buses and taxis are popular with urban transportation planners and environmental organizations in many parts of the World where their penetration is growing fast.
CNG is considered a green fuel as it emits virtually no particulate matter (soot), and significantly reduced amounts of Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide and Nitrous Oxides, all of which are harmful to human health or contribute to global warming. On top of this, CNG engines are generally quieter than their diesel counterparts making them ideal for densely populated urban areas.
The QP and Mowasalat project aims to study all aspects of introducing the fuel into Qatar's growing public transportation sector and will include a pilot project to observe the fuel's performance in a fleet of specially equipped buses and to understand distribution and fuelling issues.
The Minister of Energy and Industry H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, said: "Qatar is blessed with abundant resources of natural gas and this agreement is consistent with the State of Qatar's strategy to make such resource available to satisfy our growing domestic energy needs. We are delighted today to work with Mowasalat on evaluating the potential of expanding the use of natural gas to fuel the requirement of our public transportation sector where its burning qualities and environmental advantages make it a sustainable and effective alternative to petroleum refined products".
Jassim Saif Al Sulaiti, the Chairman and Managing Director of Mowasalat said: "Mowasalat has been at the forefront of developing a modern, reliable and cost effective public transportation service in Qatar to serve the growing needs of our population. Safety, innovation and the protection of the environment are central to our operations. We are very pleased to cooperate with QP in developing CNG in our public transportation sector where our fleet of buses and operating expertise will hopefully provide a sound base for a successful CNG pilot scheme that will be expanded to other sectors and applications in the transport sector in Qatar".
QP hopes that the experience gained from this joint project with Mowasalat will serve as basis for expanding the CNG network to cover the whole country and to extend to other categories of fleets and vehicles in Qatar.