June 7, 2012. Presented at the 25th World Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur, the International Gas Union (IGU) announced the winners of two award categories – the Gas Efficiency Award and Social Gas Award. The awards recognise new ideas and projects aimed at achieving better efficiency in the use of gas.
First introduced in 2009, the theme of the IGU Social Gas Award for 2012 was “Encouraging Gas Efficient Behaviour”. The 2012 IGU Social Gas Award is conferred to Luis Felipe Fernández Perez, former Commercial Natural Gas Manager of Pluspetrol Peru Corporation, for highlighting the country’s success in increasing the number of vehicles running on compressed natural gas (CNG); from 150 to 110.000 units in 5 years.
The project, sponsored by Pluspetrol, was initially focused on taxis in Lima, and the goal was to convert 50.000 vehicles in ten years. Since the launch of the project in 2005, the number of vehicles running on CNG has risen from 150 to 126.500 in December 2011.
This system integrates the debit balance of the driver, the car, the shop, and the service station, and allows the taxi driver to be eligible for a loan without warranty. Some taxi companies have also increased the number of taxis, thus generating more jobs.
IGU Secretary Torstein Indrebø said there is a huge potential for gas in this sector as it improves the air quality thanks to less smog and air pollutants compared to diesel and gasoline. He added that in spite of the many benefits, it is nevertheless a challenge to introduce natural gas vehicles in large numbers, mainly because investments are needed to convert the engines enabling them to run on natural gas.