due to lack of gas, the country is drowning under oil pollution
Iran has been hit by cold weather for several weeks, which has led to gas cuts and, in turn, power cuts. In addition to affecting daily comfort, this cold winter is also affecting the health of Iranians: authorities are firing up power plant engines to generate as much electricity as possible by burning fuel oil, heavy fuel oil. The impact on air quality is evident with regular pollution peaks.
The advantage of fuel oil is that it is cheap, but of low quality. His bad deeds are also known, and the Iranian authorities are trying to hide what they have done. Dariush Gollizade, one of the deputies of the Ministry of Environment, said on October 9, 2022: “We planned not to burn fuel oil in power plants this year.” Parviz Sarvari, a member of the Tehran city council, confirmed on December 16, 2022: “Power plants in Tehran province do not burn fuel oil.”
>> READ THE FIRST PART OF OUR SURVEY: Cold winter in Iran (1/2): gas and electricity cuts increase tensions
فردیس جاده ملارد نیروگاه منتازر کامی
Fuel oil is dangerous and dangerous#علودگی_هوا pic.twitter.com/vqtVuFy2Jy
— Iran Workers (@iranworkers) January 25, 2023
Thick smoke rises from the Qaem power station due to the burning of fuel oil. Qaem power station is located 40 km west of Tehran, in the city of Fardis.
“Almost all power plants burn only fuel oil”
Termeh [pseudonyme] He is an environmental specialist in Tehran. He explains that the smog that makes the air “unbreathable” in Iranian cities comes partly from fuel oil-burning power plants, which the authorities sometimes completely deny.
Officials deny this, but rising air pollution in southern Tehran and many other cities near power plants suggests fuel oil is being burned there. In recent years, some power plants sometimes burned oil when gas was not enough, but this year, almost all power plants seem to be burning oil continuously. Poor air quality this year is another clue.
The high level of fine particles in the air can have no other cause than the burning of fuel oil. [Les particules fines PM2,5 et PM10 sont des polluants atmosphériques qui, à des niveaux élevés dans l’air, mettent en danger la santé humaine. Elles réduisent la visibilité et donnent à l’air une apparence trouble lorsque les niveaux sont élevés, NDLR]. Tehran’s weather is not good since March 28, 2022. At least 40,000 Iranians die each year from PM2.5 pollution, according to a study by Tehran University.
situation #mazot_sovzi در الاموميناي جاجرم, north of Khorasan pic.twitter.com/GKIDPgtUyI
— somaye baghi◾ (@sbaghi_) January 25, 2023
The Jajarm Aluminum Plant, located 9 km east of the city of Cajarm, emits heavy smoke after burning fuel oil instead of gas to run the machinery. The video was released on January 26.
Based on images and satellite data, the editorial staff of France 24 Observers was able to find evidence of the massive use of fuel oil in many of Iran’s power plants, as suspected by our Observer and other Iranian environmentalists.
It is known that fuel oil emits dense white smoke when burning, while the evaporation that occurs when burning natural gas is almost invisible.
If we compare satellite images from January 2023, when the chimneys of the Iranian power plant were allegedly burning fuel oil, and when they were not supposed to be in the summer of 2022, the difference is stark.
In the summer of 2022, no trace of white smoke is visible above the plant’s chimneys, but in January 2023, dense white smoke is visible in satellite images.
“This is the result of decades of mismanagement”
Our observer in Tehran, Termeh, continues:
“The burning of such a large amount of fuel oil has a serious impact on the environment. During the burning of fuel oil, power plants emit small particles that are extremely dangerous for all living things.
Fuel oil contains a significant amount of sulfur, and when burned, releases toxic sulfur dioxide into the air. These toxic chemicals are dangerous to humans, animals and plants and also cause acid rain. Unfortunately, we do not know the true extent of the problem as there is no comprehensive study on this issue for all of Iran. There are only a few random measurements of pollution due to burning fuel oil. According to one study, for example, the concentration of sulfur dioxide in the air It reaches 1200 parts per million in Isfahan [ppm, qui indique combien molécules de polluant se trouve sur un million de molécules d’air, NDLR]) during 24 hours while the Isfahan power plant burns fuel oil, while the norm for a day is 50 ppm.“
Our editors also compared the data collected by satellites regarding the presence of sulfur gas over Iranian cities in the summer of 2022 and in January 2023. According to satellite detectors that can measure the level of sulfur dioxide in the air, the difference between these two periods is undisputed.
“If there is no political change in Iran, the problem of air pollution will not be solved”
“The thick air pollution that surrounds Tehran and many other cities is making people sick. It is difficult to walk on the streets, any physical activity is unbearable, cough, headache and nausea are only a few short-term effects, cancer and many other long-term and more serious health effects. problems are also inevitable, and it is the result of decades of mismanagement in all sectors of this country that cannot be overcome with a few limited changes.
Solving the problem of air pollution in Iran requires a new approach to energy production, a move towards clean energy sources, and this change of course requires openness to the outside world, foreign investment and foreign technology, and this will not happen in Iran. if there is no political change”.
“Deficiencies will worsen over time”
Economic journalist Reza Ghaybi also emphasizes this:
“Iranian households consume more than 700 million cubic meters of natural gas per day, while production is 850 million cubic meters.
This means that power plants and many other industries that consume gas are left without electricity. Many factories stop production due to lack of gas.
When factories shut down, there is less product on the market, which means prices will continue to rise. And the outlook is bleak. Considering that on the one hand there is no money for maintenance and modernization of systems, and on the other hand consumption is increasing, gas and energy shortages will not only continue, but will worsen over time. To correct this situation, according to the calculations of Iranian officials, Iran needs more than 80 billion euros.