Saturday, February 26, 2011

DM vehicles convert to natural gas

Dubai Municipality has launched the first phase of its project to convert the fuel of its vehicles to natural gas in order to preserve the environment and reduce the negative impacts of the fuel used in vehicles as natural gas is one of the fuels that is used with less impact on the environment.

The launching ceremony of the project, organized the Transportation Department at Dubai Municipality was attended by Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality and a number of Assistant Directors General and senior officials of the civic body, Saeed Khoury, CEO of Emirates Gas and Hesham Ali Mustafa, General Manager, Emirates Gas, who were briefed about the project and its details and manner of implementation in Municipality vehicles.
Lootah said Dubai Municipality has always been keen on preserving the environment and for the same reason; it has become necessary to move towards the launch of this initiative through its vehicles.

“Dubai Municipality is the first government body in the emirate to started converting its vehicles to natural gas, and the launch of this project is in terms of the Municipality's keenness on environmental protection in accordance with the directives of the Government of Dubai, which give rise to the strategic orientations of Dubai Municipality to ensure a clean and sustainable environment in the Emirate of Dubai,” he said.

Lootah stated that the project will be implemented in several stages and in the first phase the Municipality has begun with converting five vehicles to natural gas. “During the second phase, the project will be applied in commercial vehicles and medium-sized vehicles such as pickups, which amount to about 438 vehicles provided that natural gas is available through our partners,” he said.
“The project contributes to the economic benefit as it will achieve an estimated fuel saving of about Dhs2.3 million a year in the event of converting 400 vehicles. It will also achieve significant environmental benefit by reducing the rate of carbon emissions by 70% in each vehicle when using natural gas,” Lootah said.

According to Humaid Al Marri, Director of Transportation Department at Dubai Municipality launching this project comes as part of the Municipality’s care to maintain the city's environment and in accordance with the objectives and directions of good governance.

He stressed that natural gas is lighter than air and in case of leakage it is vapourized in the atmosphere, which is not considered toxic.
Al Marri said the Transportation Department will work with its strategic partners to get the approvals required to become one of those officially approved bodies to convert vehicles to natural gas.

“We will use the components and elements of technical parts according to the technical specifications and requirements of the Transportation Department as the use of natural gas in cars contributes to reducing the rate of carbon emissions by 70% in each vehicle that uses this fuel,” he said.
Al Marri said that natural gas is currently the most widely used in major countries as it is one of the environment friendly resources and the total number of vehicles operating with natural gas around the world amounts to more than three million vehicles in as many as 60 countries.

He added that some of the manufacturers of vehicles have begun manufacturing vehicles that operate on natural gas as it is most abundant and widespread than crude oil.
Al Marri said that the use of natural gas is considered one of the most secure sources to use as this system was tested by the approved bodies for leakage of gas and strong frame with standard specifications will be placed around the gas cylinder for its protection in the event of any accident.

“The screw valve on the cylinder closes automatically in the case of pressure becoming lower than the specified level as a result of any leak within the system. In the case of an accident it opens automatically like a repellent gas valve and as a safety gas evaporates in the atmosphere. The gas cylinders are manufactured as per world class standards that can withstand pressure up to 350 lb/inch as the operating pressure is 220 lb/inch,” he said.
Al Marri pointed out that the Department was keen to reach higher levels of safety by meeting the requirements of the UAE standard specifications in all aspects of the work from the quality of air, gas, components of equipment for converting the vehicles, stations to supply gas to vehicles to specifications of the workshops for conversion and qualifications of the technicians. 

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