BY: Ebrahim Fallahi

Indigenizing equipment a priority of Iranian gas industry

September 30, 2020 - 11:53

TEHRAN - Despite the unjust U.S. sanctions, Iran has made considerable advances in science and technology in almost all areas during the past years, and as one of the main pillars of the country’s economy, the oil and gas industry have been at the top of the mentioned advancements.

Going hand in hand with the oil industry, the country’s gas sector has been enjoying drastic technological advances in recent years, and numerous knowledge-based companies, research centers, and institutes have become active to help the industry reach its goals of self-sufficiency.

The growth in the mentioned sector is so fast-pacing that according to the Head of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hassan Montazer Torbati the country’s gas industry will become completely self-sufficient within the next five years.

Speaking in the opening ceremony of the country’s first Gas Tech Show back in December 2019, Montazer Torbati said, “In this process, we completely indigenize the technology and equipment required in the gas industry so that we won’t need to import any technology or equipment in all the industry chain from refining to distribution.”

“Reaching self-sufficiency and domestic production is a long-term process that is not easily achieved, however in recent years we have pursued it seriously and we are achieving positive outcomes,” he said.

The indigenization and domestic production of oil and gas industry equipment has been always among the objectives of the Oil Ministry, however, the issue became further highlighted since the re-imposition of the U.S. sanctions and Washington’s determination for cutting off the Islamic Republic’s ties with the world advances in knowledge and technology, especially in the oil and gas sector, aiming for choking off the country’s main source of revenue.

In the past few years, the ministry has been seriously supporting knowledge-based companies and startups, and several events, exhibitions, and panels have been held in this regard to encourage the mentioned companies’ contribution to the country’s oil and gas industry.

In June 2019, NIGC held a reverse pitch panel to address the industry’s technological issues and to benefit from the capabilities and capacities of the knowledge-based companies and academics active in the industry.

In the process of the mentioned panel, practical ideas that offered appropriate and executive solutions to the industry’s targeted issues were chosen to go through trials in the form of research projects and finally be implemented after assessment and prioritization.

In his latest comments published by the news portal of the NIGC on Tuesday, Montazer Torbati has pushed the significance of the issue even further and called for the establishment of research centers and institutes to work exclusively on the indigenization of the gas industry equipment and technology.

“Setting up centers and institutes that provide the ground for localization of the necessary equipment and help achieve our self-sufficiency goals by their innovative ideas, is one of the priorities of the country's gas industry.”

The NIGC head stated that the general approach of the institutes is to establish a close relationship between the knowledge centers (university) and the industry, adding: “The majority of the research work of the National Iranian Gas Company is followed by such institutes.”

He pointed out that the research projects of the National Iranian Gas Company are pursued in the form of four major categories, including LNG (liquefied natural gas), gas processing, turbines, and smart measurement, saying: “Whenever the industry is faced with a problem such as the need for a new product, or issues related to catalysts or operational requirements, these institutes will be present alongside the industry as scientific support.”

The efforts of the Oil Ministry and NIGC have resulted in significant achievements in this industry and so far Iranian experts and engineers have managed to localize the knowledge for manufacturing over 90 percent of the gas industry’s required equipment and services.

The technological know-how of repairing high-pressure gas pipelines using composite wrapping, the know-how for producing vibration monitoring and protection systems for gas transmission lines, the knowledge for producing certain catalysts for processing natural gas, the technology for manufacturing and installing the most modern and up to date measuring instruments and equipment used in the industry can be mentioned as some of the achievements of the NIGC in the past few years.

EF/MA

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