The Central Municipal Council (CMC) has called for concerted efforts by the entities concerned to prepare a comprehensive study that will lead to the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) as fuel for vehicles in Qatar.
The CMC recently recommended that Qatar Petroleum (QP) should provide the required technical, economic and legal support to the project in co-operation with other related entities. Further, the Ministry of Municipality & Urban Planning, along with Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa), should take into consideration the construction of CNG fuel stations by QP while planning new infrastructure projects in the country.
QP had conducted a study on such a project, indicating the advantages of using CNG as well as the limitations and hurdles involved. The study indicated that CNG is a clean fuel with limited carbon emission as compared to gasoline and diesel. Further, as it has no sulphur or lead components and does not pose a risk to public health. It also enhances the performance of a vehicle’s engine, reducing the cost of maintenance.
Its limitations include low energy density, particularly when used in light vehicles. This reduces the distance that can be covered by a vehicle before refuelling. CNG cylinders take up a lot of space in a car besides being heavy, which reduces the overall performance of smaller vehicles.
The use of CNG as vehicle fuel offers various environmental and economic incentives, which make it worthwhile to issue the required legislation and provide the necessary infrastructure for such a positive national project, the CMC recommended.
The council said government entities such as the Supreme Education Council and Supreme Council of Health should study the possibility of introducing CNG-powered buses and vehicles in their fleets as a pioneering initiative.
Similarly, the CMC recommended that the Ministry of Environment should enforce more sophisticated and stringent technical standards for buses entering the country. It has been noticed that low-quality transportation buses are being imported to Qatar from countries with unsatisfactory environmental, technical and health specifications.
In a related issue, the council recommended that vehicles with private transport number plates should be banned from doing public transport duty. Qataris who hold such number plates should be allowed to lease them to other companies for use on their heavy vehicles so that they could earn some extra income, particularly those with limited resources, such as orphans and widows.
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