The FINANCIAL — The Government of Georgia passed a resolution to postpone the introduction of new petrol and diesel standards. The new standards under the previous decision were to be introduced in January 1, 2009, and would cause the cessation of fuel imports from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, since the two countries would not be able to meet the new requirements.
“Now, consumers will continue to be able to purchase cheaper fuel from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan,” Vano Mtvralashvili, head of the Georgian Association of Oil Products Enterprisers, Importers, and Consumers, said.
The FINANCIAL asked Samson Pkhakadze, Chairman of the Wissol Board of Directors, to comment on the postponement of approval of new standards on fuel and Diesel products in Georgia.
“Even though fuel standards currently in force in Georgia are far from modern European standards and actually they are close to Euro 1 standard, Wissol has been importing Euro 4 Italian fuel from API (Anonima Petroli Italiana SpA.) since 2007. From December 2008 we have even started to import Euro 5 standard fuel. Euro 5 standard fuel will be officially introduced in Western Europe from January 1, 2009. This product is environmentally the most friendly fuel, it takes a great deal of care of human health as well as saves the car’s engine and guarantees its long term uninterrupted use.
“According to the current official quality standards in Georgia, the permitted amount of Benzol in fuel is 5%, whereas per Euro 5 Standard Benzol content should not exceed 1%.
The permitted amount of sulphur in petrol, according to current Georgian standards should not exceed 500 mg/kg. As for diesel it should not exceed 350. Per Euro 5 standard sulphur content in both gasoline and diesel fuel should be maximum 10 mg/kg. Actual sulfur content in API products is 3 mg/kg (milligrams in a kilogram), meaning that it’s almost free from sulphur”.
“Lead, sulphur, aromatic hydrocarbons and others are the fuel components that affect the health. Originally use of aromatic hydrocarbons was considered to be a progressive step but later on experts discovered that they could also cause health problems. Benzol can cause cancer due to its carcinogenic features. Sulphur if in a big amount can have a negative effect not only on health and the environment but on the car engine itself as well causing corrosion,” Dali Okruashvili, Expert of oil products and Head of Wissol’s Quality Control Department.
Samson Pkhakadze: “The API Euro 5 standard product that we import is unleaded fuel created for the western European markets and is distinguished by its superior quality. As just a simple comparison Euro 3 standard is to be introduced in Georgia by 2011 only”.
“The strategic objective of JSC Wissol Petroleum Georgia was to get established as a #1 premium brand in the country which would be distinguished by the superior quality of its petroleum products. By offering API fuel in the network of our petrol stations, Wissol has achieved its strategic goal. By distributing superior quality petroleum products Wissol cares about the environment and as well saves the car engines of our valuable customers. The company imports API fuel from the Falconara Marittima refinery. Today after more than 70 years API is the leading oil group in integrated downstream and power generation. API covers all downstream activities from supplying, trading of crude oil, from refining to storage and distribution. The refinery of Falconara Marittima is one of the most modern and technologically advanced refineries in the world”.
“Wissol always tries to be innovative on the market by offering the highest quality products and high quality services, innovative technologies, etc.”
According to the Head of Wissol’s Quality Control Department, the current national standard for petrol and diesel in Georgia was introduced in 2003. The fuel standard for gasoline is a bit more progressive than the Soviet one but still far behind European standard. The fuel standard currently in force for diesel is actually the same as the former Soviet one.
The Wissol Quality Control Laboratory controls the whole logistic chain related to fuel import and distribution. The laboratory’s function is to control the quality of fuel starting from vessels imported to Georgian ports, delivery to Wissol’s oil terminals, storage and distribution to petrol stations by Wissol own fleet of fuel trucks. As a next step laboratory specialists monitor the quality of the products sold from reservoirs at service stations. The tests and the analyses in the laboratory are conducted using the most modern European standard methods.
As Dali Okruashvili added, “The Wissol laboratory is for product quality control and is equipped with all devices needed to examine product characteristics. The laboratory studies the compactness (thickness) of the product, fraction composition, kinematic viscosities, ignition temperature, cetane index, water, and mechanical admixtures. Besides, we have special portable equipment that allows us to identify the octane and cetane index of the received and supplied products. If test results are positive, then the product goes to special reservoirs. Wissol strictly checks the specifications of the reservoirs according to the products. All six products that Wissol distributes in its chain of petrol stations have separate reservoirs. The product in the reservoirs is tested on a daily basis.
“Wissol transports oil products from its oil terminals and delivers to petrol stations with its own fleet of Scania trucks. These trucks have individual containers for each product and observe the specifications strictly. In addition, it has a modern pumping system that provides additional quality control,” Jemal Gegechkori, Head of Wissol Transport and Oil Products Transportation Department, said.
Wissol has the ISO Quality Control Certificate since 2006. The company operates the largest chain of its own service stations nationwide. Since 2007 the Wissol group has entered nearly all the fields of the energy sector and is presented on the market through its sub-brands: Wissol Petroleum, Wissol Gas, Air Wissol, Wissol Bunkering and Wissol Gas Distribution Company.
Written By Levan Lomtadze