CNG is a cleaner, cheaper, domestically-produced alternative to petrol and diesel that will contribute to a sustainable energy future for Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Mines has launched the Afghan Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) industry to provide Afghan consumers with a cheaper, cleaner, domestically-produced alternative to petrol and diesel for vehicles and power generation. The first CNG station, in Sheberghan City, Jawzjan Province, was launched in May 2012.
Prior to the launch of Afghanistan’s first CNG station, 100% of Afghan fuel was imported from neighboring countries at high prices that fluctuate due to transportation costs. Further, an under-developed natural gas distribution infrastructure has limited the potential of Afghanistan’s prolific northern gas fields. Converting domestic gas to CNG for use in vehicles and power generation will catalyze growth in the natural gas industry, creating new employment and revenue-generation opportunities through private sector investment. The station will also enable the transport of gas as CNG, in tanks, to areas beyond Sheberghan without the need for an expensive, conventional, gas transport infrastructure.
Vehicle owners will be able to purchase CNG at half the cost of petrol. Savings to drivers and power generator owners using CNG will be immediate.
The rights to operate Afghanistan’s first CNG station will be awarded in early 2013 to the winning bidder in the Sheberghan pilot station tender. The winning bidder will gain the exclusive opportunity, as prime mover, to develop the Afghan CNG market and profit from its expansion. Afghan Gas will operate the station during the pilot period before the launch of the tender.
The launch of the Sheberghan station marks the first step in the Afghan CNG industry. A regional network of stations will be developed to bring CNG to drivers and power generator owners across northern Afghanistan, including in cities that are not connected to natural gas pipelines.
The natural gas supply for the Sheberghan station comes from the Gerquduq and Shakarak fields. Northern Afghanistan has abundant natural gas resources, with reserves in excess of 2.5Tcf in the Sheberghan region.