CNG coming to United Arab Emirates
The Emirates General Transport and Services Corporation, or Emirates Transport for short, is a government entity for organising and managing transport and maintenance services for the benefit of various federal and local government agencies and private sector institutions. The recently announced training scheme is set to encourage a rise in the number of vehicles converted from diesel and petrol to clean-burning compressed natural gas. Why? For pretty much the same reason as similar things are done elsewhere in the world – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Currently there are plans for eight conversion workshops – six in the Northern Emirates and the remaining two in Abu Dhabi. Development of the existing CNG refueling station network across the country is also on the cards. According to Mahir Al Sayed Ali, manager at the Abu Dhabi Technical Services Centre of Emirates Transport, by the end of 2015 the infrastructure is to comprise 25 operational stations, a rise by 3 from the current 22, 16 of which are in Abu Dhabi, 4 in Sharjah and 2 in Al Ain.
Once converted, UAE's CNG vehicles will be bi-fuel ones, which means they will always be able to go back to conventional fuel once the alternative one runs out. Emirates Transport offers three sizes of CNG tanks to suit various needs: 50, 65 and 75 litres. So far (since 2010) 3350 vehicles have been converted to run on CNG in Abu Dhabi, including 2000 taxis. 150 more vehicles have been converted in Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman. The newly announced training program is aimed at boosting the figures.
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