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Iranian Power Plants Suffer Natural Gas Shortage

06/29/11 Source: Radio Zamaneh

Iran's Ministry of Power is concerned about gas shortages at Iranian power plants and is calling on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to intervene. According to the ministry, 15 power plants are currently without gas and are running on liquid fuel, but liquid fuel reserves are also running low.

Power Minister Majid Namjoo told Mehr News Agency he has called for a meeting with Ahmadinejad and the Minister of Oil to remedy the situation.

The Ministry of Power is concerned that several power plants may have to be taken off the power grid due to fuel shortages.

Deputy power minister Mohammad Behzad told Mehr News Agency: "Gas has been cut off in many of the country's power plants, and while the ministry has been able to coordinate the National Gas Company's shortages and avoid any blackouts, currently 15 of the country's power plants are without gas."

Behzad added that it is the duty of the Ministry of Oil and the National Gas Company to provide adequate fuel for the power plants. He reproached the company's decision to carry out repairs and construction during the season of peak consumption.

Records indicate the gas supply to power plants has been cut off for a long time, and they have been running on liquid fuel.

The head of the National Natural Gas Company has cited "repairs at refineries, gas pipelines, offshore platforms and gas wells" as contributing to the shortage.

Iranian power plants use liquid fuel provided by the Ministry of Oil as a fallback when gas supplies are not adequate. However, according to reports, the ministry has been unable to provide sufficient fuel.

Power Minister Namjoo has announced that the public should not be concerned about blackouts, giving assurances that the ministry is on top of the situation.

The government had predicted that gas consumption would naturally fall with the removal of government subsidies, but the National Gas Company reported an increase in daily consumption of 585 million cubic metres, despite the higher prices.

With its vast natural gas resources, Iran is one of the world's top consumers of natural gas, using more than 150 billion cubic metres every year.

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