Almaty city will be clean city using CNG

Each time getting up in the mountains  you are sincerely happy when a beautiful Almaty city shining at the bottom by the clean bright lights .  For such a picture hunt all photographers – professionals and amateurs. Alas, they often fall worst “landmark” of the city: the impending smog hides the crown and curved high-rise hotel, and marquee of the Palace of the Republic. City officials, environmentalists, Almaty citizens have long concerned about this issue and agreed in an effort to clear the city of smog, and return it to its former purity.

Everyone in this fight has its role and its capabilities. But the unifying efforts of all can be considered the Action Plan Almaty city administration in 2011-2015 to improve the environmental situation. This document recognizes the city administration, which refers to the Almaty city “with a systematic long-term high levels of air pollution caused by both natural and climatic features of the terrain and anthropogenic impacts on the environment.” Taken so far measures within comprehensive program to reduce pollution of the city has already brought results. Thus, according to NSE “Kazgidromet”, the highest level of air pollution was observed in 1994-1995, while the value of pollution index was 16.8 units. In 2009 the rate was 12.9, and in 2010 – fell to 11.7. And it is clear that this is not the ultimate dream of Almaty.

The new action plan from the Akimat draws attention by clearly defined objectives and a systematic approach: it relies on an analysis of experts who “spread” smog to components, determined the degree of impact on the ecology of different factors, as well as possibilities to minimize them. It is estimated that the total annual emissions of air pollutants in 2010, taking into account the effect of CPP-2, as well as transit and non-resident transport amounted to 232 thousand tons. The main air pollutant is road transport, emissions into the atmosphere from which is about 190 thousand tons per year from stationary sources and the private sector is allocated 42 thousand tons.

The document contains detailed painted steps which are planned to be made by city administration. And since the “superiority palm tree” belongs to transport most of the actions are made for him. About them we will talk with the experts.

– The lion’s share of total emission of pollutants into the atmosphere – up to 85% – it’s vehicles – confirms Omirbek Achan, Ph.D., Director of LLP «Ecology Engineering». – Administration of the city realizing this, moves to reduce emissions from the transport. This is right step. It would solve the problem of reducing emissions from the main source of air pollution. Part of the problem is due to the current structure of urban development. The presence of narrow streets and lack of parking spaces contribute to the emergence of traffic jams. But standing in them cars engines are floating, emitting a huge amount of exhaust gases. Punching the streets, the construction of interchanges, underground, increasing electrotransport, completion of the eastern ring road – it is quite effective measures.

The Akimat in it’s plan also laid a lot of positions on the transfer of vehicles to gas. I think this move will also give a good effect. But this task is not easy. It requires complex measures. Administration of realizing all of its complexity, paints the details of the main stages of the partial transfer of vehicles with diesel and gasoline to natural gas, expanding the functions of existing stations, the creation of a specialized center for the transfer of gas transport, building five refueling stations for compressed natural gas vehicles. When transferring the vehicles to natural gas will decrease gasoline consumption in general. This means that the reduced amount of emissions is not only harmful substances such as carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen. Also by the Akimat wasn’t missed such issues as identifying sources of funding, developing of instructional materials and programs for teachers training for further training of drivers and gas station specialists. All of this suggests that the program itself is aimed thoughtful character.

The expert also positively assessed measures to reduce harmful effects on the environment from sources such as CHP and the private sector, burning diesel and coal, by transferring them to the gas. In particular, as noted Omirbek Achan, the burning of coal and diesel released into the atmosphere 6 hazardous ingredients, the burning of gas – only 4.

– That means that while running on gas  two ingredients such as soot and sulfur dioxide formed by the combustion of diesel fuel will be formed, – says the expert. – And with the end of burning of coal, the emissions of particulate matter and sulfur dioxide will be also stopped. Other substances produced by burning gas, but at much lower concentrations, because gas is more environmentally friendly fuel. Three general direction of the plan – the minimization of emissions from road transport, energy, and the private sector – selected precisely. This is not a “pioneer” steps from the Akimat – they are traditional for those countries that are concerned with similar problems, but they lead to the expected effect: the reduction of the gross volume, decrease in the concentration and the structure of emissions. And since the plan is implemented, it will gradually contribute to a substantial improvement in air quality in Almaty.

The specific parameters of plan laid by the Akimat . In particular, it seeks to reduce air pollution comprehensive index (API5) to 11 units by reducing the level of total emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere of approximately 15.5 tons. Including the reducing of the total emissions level from vehicles through its conversion to natural gas. It is estimated that the conversion of 1000 cars will reduce emissions by 170 tons per year. A construction of the Eastern bypass road, 25.7 miles of new and renovated 6 km of urban roads, turning areas for five route buses will provide a reduction of 7-11% of the observed concentrations of harmful substances.

– This is a serious, realistic document –  assesses the action plan of the Akimat Bekmagambetov Murad, president of Open Company “Research Institute of Transport and Communications”, Russian Academy of Transport, Member of the International Academy of Transport. – In particular, the completion of the Eastern bypass road will reduce the load on the road network. This will increase the average speed around the city of almost 2%, and in its central part – by 6%. The numbers do not seem very impressive, however this will reduce the Almaty’s daily time spent on the road for about 32,000 hours. Approximately on 5-10% will be reduced the amount of emissions after the construction of the subway from the train station Almaty-1 to the western outskirts of the city. Thus, the implementation of two projects aimed at reducing traffic congestion, gives a significant environmental effect. Of course, it does not seem radical, since the amount of traffic will grow. But we hope that the parameters of this park will be improved by measures that are taken not only at the city and national level. First of all, the transition to more advanced standards of Euro 4 and above. We also attribute the improvements of the environment with plans to tighten the control of the exhaust emission standards by the Akimat . If the city authorities to solve the problem of technical operation of the car maintenance and inspection, if it will happen by the rules, then, according to conservative estimates, emissions from the vehicle fleet could be reduced by one third.

Overall, the activities inherent in the plan, including infrastructure improvements, emissions reductions, public transport development and replacement of their individual cars – good for the city, said the expert.

– Speaking about the development of public transport, we focus our attention on two principal tasks – continues Murat Bekmagambetov. – First, the creation of such conditions and a level of public transport services, which would significantly increase its competitiveness in relation to individual vehicles. Such an example we have seen in the West. It should be understood that the specific emissions per passenger transported in public vehicles for a couple of orders of magnitude lower than that of passenger cars. The second fundamental problem with the development of public transport – electric transport priority. This will help to reduce emissions to a minimum. Also important to optimize the routing network as a whole – the control of carriers. Today the city administration understands that it can’t rely only on the market, you need not only standardize requirements for rolling stock, but also for the process of transportation, logistics, and personnel.

In general, experts say, the plan of the Akimat covers a wide range of the measures to achieve its goals. And the movement of Almaty in the direction of “clean cities” is obvious. This was discussed at the last spring of the international seminar “The transport system in environmentally friendly cities.” Appreciating the steps of the city, and experts point to a number of aspects that are beyond the scope of akimat. In particular, the need to improve the environmental legislation and the technical maintenance of vehicles, tightening control over the implementation of standards and environmental requirements.

Environmentalists believe that the laws themselves are not effective enough, and their performance is often a formality. For example, passing car inspection. Many are trying to buy a document about the technical inspection, in addition to a somewhat reprehensible. Environmentalists complain that Air is a substance which we all breathe, but the owners do not realizea bout how their cars “enrich” it. Experts add: maintenance and inspection is not licensed and not certified that’s why they may do what they want. And for the normal effectively realization of of the environmental program not only in Almaty but also throughout the whole country it’s should be matched with the objectives and scope of this. And here a strict system of state control is needed. It’s needed to look the best world experience, the best approaches and standards and apply them at home.

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