Middle East Reduces Dependence on Middle East Oil -- Egypt Hosts Conference to Increase Use of Natural Gas Vehicles in Middle East and Worldwide

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As many as 700 delegates from around the world are gathering in Egypt next week to promote the increased use of natural gas vehicles worldwide at a conference hosted under the patronage of Egypt's Minister for Petroleum, His Excellency Eng Sameh Fahmi. NGV2006, is the biennial event of the International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles (IANGV) which is projecting that more than 50 million natural gas vehicles will be operating worldwide by 2020. More than one million natural gas vehicles are expected to be operating in the Middle East by 2010, improving air quality and reducing dependence on crude oil for transport.

While much of the world groans under the strain of high oil prices and seeks means of reducing dependence on Middle Eastern oil, a quiet revolution is underway within the Middle East to achieve the same objective. Despite being home to 65% of the world's oil reserves, pressure to improve air quality and maximise crude oil revenues is driving Middle Eastern governments to implement alternative fuel schemes that dwarf many of those in other oil dependent nations.

Increasing interest in natural gas vehicles in the area will culminate in an international conference in exhibition, to be held in Cairo, Egypt from November 7- 9 2006. More than 700 delegates are expected to attend the event, hosted under the patronage of Egypt's Minister for Petroleum, His Excellency Eng Sameh Fahmi, by the IANGV and EGAS of Egypt. As well as exploring current technology and developments the conference will also be exploring future technology and policy developments.

Government and private organisations in Egypt, Iran, United Arab Emirates and other oil rich nations are well under way with programs designed to reduce consumption of gasoline and diesel, not with ethanol or biodiesel vehicles, but with natural gas vehicles (NGVs). With the combined benefits of low fuel cost, reduced air pollutants and greenhouse emissions, and increased safety, as many as a million natural gas powered cars, trucks and buses could be plying Middle Eastern roads by the end of this decade.

Eqypt already has 70,000 natural gas vehicles in operation, aiming for a target of 145,000 by 2010, while Iran, with 140,000 natural gas vehicles, is well on its way to achieving a 2010 target of 600,000 vehicles including 20,000 buses at the rate of more than 12,000 vehicles per month. Other nations in the area have also begun implementing natural gas vehicles, with several compressed natural gas (CNG) opening in the United Arab Emirates within the past year. Government officials have targeted 10,000 vehicles in Abu Dhabi alone.

Neighbouring Pakistan is already a strong user of natural gas vehicles, with more than 1 million on the country's roads. While the number and growth of natural gas vehicle is impressive in the Middle East, growth is not just restricted to this area, with more than five million natural gas vehicles currently on the road worldwide. Increasing numbers in Europe, North & South America and Asia are expected to raise this to more than fifty million by 2020.

International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles (IANGV) President, Juan Carlos Fracchia, says that while natural gas vehicle numbers are increasing at a high rate, more widespread use would yield lasting benefits worldwide. "Natural gas reserves are more evenly distributed throughout the world than crude oil is," he said. "Using natural gas for transport gives nations increased energy security and control over fuel prices while at the same time delivering cleaner air to their citizens and lower greenhouse emissions to the world. For instance, Korea with no natural gas of its own has found it valuable to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) for use in vehicles"

More information on the conference can be found at http://www.ngv2006.com

About Natural Gas Vehicles

  •      there are more than 5 million natural gas vehicles currently operating worldwide
  •     in most countries natural gas can save vehicle owners 50% or more on fuel costs
  •     natural gas engines are the cleanest internal combustion production engines in the world, with some already achieving 2010 US standards
  •     natural gas vehicles can reduce greenhouse emissions by as much as 30%
  •     natural gas can be derived from renewable and waster sources, effectively making natural gas vehicles 'greenhouse neutral'
  •     natural gas can be used in all classes of vehicles
  •     most vehicle and engine manufacturers produce and market natural gas vehicles somewhere in the world -- General Motors, Chrysler, Ford, VW, Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Fiat, Opel, Iveco, Tata, Volvo, Cummins, Detroit, Isuzu…

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