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Azerbaijan considers using Euro 3 standard this year

Azerbaijan may start applying the Euro 3 environmental standard on fuel in 2013, Chairman of the State Committee on Standardization, Metrology and Patents, Ramiz Hasanov, said on May 29.
The standard will mean regulation of the composition of harmful substances in the exhaust gases of internal combustion vehicles as well as the quality of the fuel used in the country.
According to Hasanov, despite acceptance of the Euro 3 standard in Azerbaijan, its introduction is a long process, so no specific date can be cited.
“This procedure applies both to vehicles and the fuel produced in the country, for this reason, these processes must go hand in hand,” Hasanov said.
He said Azerbaijan’s state energy company SOCAR is ready for this transition.
“Monitoring of the fuel for sale is carried out on schedule. According to the monitoring results, no major disadvantages are observed,” Hasanov noted.
At present, the Euro 3 environmental standard in the country applies to vehicles and their spare parts. Azerbaijan started enforcing the Euro 2 standard on July 1, 2011.
According to estimates, each transition to a new euro standard — for example, from Euro 3 to Euro 4, requires approximately US$1 billion.
The transition to new Euro standards promises renewal of the domestic car market by phasing out old cars.
SOCAR’s commissioning a new oil and gas refining and petrochemical complex in the Garadagh district of Baku will enable a further transition from Euro 4 to Euro 5.
According to the state standards and patents committee, Azerbaijan plans to launch production of fuel meeting the Euro 4 standard in 2015.
SOCAR, the only gasoline producer in Azerbaijan, has two oil refineries — the Heydar Aliyev Baku Oil Refinery and Oil Refinery Azneftyag. The total processing capacity of the two refineries is 20 million tons per year.
Eighty percent of gasoline currently produced in the country is used to meet domestic demand, while the rest is exported. Most of diesel fuel is exported and only 35% is sold in the domestic market.
(May 30, 2013)