Saeed Tavakoli, CEO of Iran Gas Transmission Company (IGTC) told Iran Petroleum that the company is administering 36,300 kilometers of pipeline fitted with more than 81 gas compressor stations which incorporate 292 turbocompressors. He said that thanks to such installations, 757 mcm/d of gas was distributed to 10 IGTC-run operating areas in the last Iranian calendar year which ended on March 20. He said last calendar year's gas transmission was 6% up from the year before. Tavakoli said in the new Iranian year, gas transmission is expected to reach 830 mcm/d.
A total of 65 gas transmission turbocompressors are planned to be overhauled in the current calendar year. Meanwhile, more than 250 kilometers of high-pressure pipeline would be repaired and replaced; 28 kilometers would be reclassified while 1,850 kilometers would undergo intelligent pig running.
Large segments of Iran Gas Trunkline 6 (IGAT6) and IGAT9, measuring 1,000 kilometers long and used for gas exports, would be delivered to IGTC this calendar year.
Tavakoli said IGTC-run operating areas are divided into two groups, adding: "The first group is located on the main path of gas transmission from south to north and the second group includes areas which are not principal."
He said that the gas compressor stations of IGTC are mainly located on the central corridor. The ten main areas include Miankuh, Isfahan, Shahr-e Rey, Mashhad, Tabriz, Bandar Abbas, Hamedan, Tabriz, Sari and Bushehr.
In terms of pipeline extension, IGTC stands fourth in the world while it comes first in Asia.
Rivalry on Turbocompressor Repair
Tavakoli said IGTC's use of domestically manufactured equipment and national potential would enhance gas transmission sustainability.
"Given the capability of Iranian manufacturers, particularly in building and repairing different models of turbocompressors, full dependence on foreign companies has fallen significantly. Furthermore, most components of the hot section of turbines have been manufactured domestically," he added.
Based on the IGTC outsourcing plan, the company's service workers and other Iranian companies are repairing equipment. In collaboration with competent Iranian companies, IGTC is engaged in reverse engineering of equipment whose domestic manufacturing is not possible.
For the first time last year, double-shaft turbines were deconstructed by IGTC service workers without any foreign company present and all of its components were manufactured domestically. Due to non-resort to foreign experts, huge amount of money has been saved. Due to the possibility of manufacturing of components of double-shaft turbines in Iran, Iranian manufacturers are now able to produce such turbines. Economically speaking, the situation has improved for the turbines when compared with the time when they were sent overseas for repair.
According to Tavakoli, after Ian's nuclear deal with six world powers went into effect many foreign companies including German Siemens that even did not respond to IGTC's requests started negotiations for renewed cooperation and opening of agency in Iran.
"But owing to progress made by peer Iranian companies, foreign companies are faced with a competitive market. Furthermore, the operation of national turbine in Iran with the help of universities has reduced national dependence on overseas," he said.
"Over recent years, Iran's gas export infrastructure has developed seriously. A gas export pipeline stretching from Naftshahr to Baghdad and Basra, gas export line to Armenia and gas swap from Turkmenistan were focused upon. That is mainly due to increased gas recovery from the South Pars gas field," said Tavakoli.
Partnership with Foreigners
Tavakoli said application of modern methods of repairing gas installations was a field for investment in Iran's gas transmission industry.
He said that online repair of gas pipelines in Iran saved the country over IRR 1,500 billion thanks to preventing gas release into the air.
"Currently, we can cooperate with foreign knowledge-based companies and benefit from their investment in replacing cover, using mobile compressors for the transmission of gas via pipelines, metering systems, preventing corrosion of valves, retrofitting of pipes and mechanisms of gas pipeline monitoring," he added.
Tavakoli said that by 2025, Iran is expected to have 45,000 kilometers of pipeline, 60 production centers, and 130 stations, and transfer 400 bcm/y of gas.
"Therefore, in order to realize this objective, we need to install modern systems of gas transmission. Iran has already identified brand companies with modern technology and is ready to talk to them," he added.
Tavakoli said more than 226 bcm of gas had been transmitted in Iran during 11 months last calendar year.
Under the current administration, 600 kilometers of pipeline is to be installed under BOT agreements.
Tavakoli said Iran has the potential to operate, maintain and repair its pipelines and gas compressor stations following new methods. He added that foreign companies can now count on Iranian companies for hardware if they form partnership for investment in Iran.
He said that negotiations had been held for future cooperation with a number of European and Russian companies whose performance is similar to Iran's gas industry.
Talks held with some foreign companies are expected to reach the stage of agreement signing this year.