Geothermal Energy for Natural Gas Compressor Stations; an Environmental and Economical Assessment

Document Type : Research Article


1 Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Mahta Intelligent Development Engineering Analysis Co., Tehran, Iran


Iran’s environmental condition is critical, since it is experiencing desertification, unsustainable development and overpopulation. The objective of this study is power source replacement in natural gas stations that operate with natural gas compressors, through using electrical motors, which can be fed by a 160 MW geothermal power plant, as an alternative to gas turbines. Application of such alternative power source will decrease greenhouse gas emissions, lower environmental costs and reduce natural gas consumption. Two economic scenarios are analyzed, with either the state or private sector act as investors of the proposed geothermal power plant. Since the new system requires 580 Million USD capital investment, if the government fully invests the project, it reduces government’s massive annual costs about 130% and turns it from more than $80 Million/year to an income about $24 million/year. Furthermore, if the private sector invests the project and the state’s incentive regulations be taken into account, this project will be beneficial, since its IRR is about 14%; in addition to more than 20% governmental annual cost reduction. This system can be also an economic competitor for liquid natural gas (LNG) cycles and geothermal power can also be a clean power source for LNG plants.


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