(NA "Novosti - Gruziya") вЂ" The Union of oil goods producers, importers and consumers is in favour of Azerbaijan to be also in future the main supplier of motor fuel to Georgia.
This statement the Union made in regard to the news disseminated by media, that Azerbaijan might not be able to succeed in arranging production of gasoline in line with the European standards by 1 January 2006, the time for introducing new gasoline quality standards and Georgia will have to look for another gasoline provider.
New gasoline quality standards were planned to be introduced in Georgia since 1 January 2005; later, by considerations close to those voiced by the head of the Union of oil goods producers, importers and consumers, their introduction had been delayed for one year вЂ"till 1 January 2006.
According to the new standards, the lead content in gasoline must be not over 0,005g/cu dm, sulphur - not over 150 mg/kg, aromatic hydrocarbones вЂ"not over 42%, benzol вЂ" not over 1%.
As the head of the Union of oil goods producers, importers and consumers Vano Mtvralashvili stated, about one year ago the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) assured the Georgian side, that beginning with the III quarter of 2005 it will be able to produce gasoline, meeting the international quality standards.
However, even in case Azerbaijan will not be able to re-equip the Oil Refineries in due time, it would be more reasonable to wait for several months than look for new suppliers, as for today, around 90% of the gasoline consumed in Georgia is produced in Azerbaijan, head of the Union considers.
According to him, once Georgia starts importing gasoline from the countries with the gasoline meeting the European standards, such as Spain or Italy, it will cause the вЂњgasoline catastrophic going up in price in the countryвЂќ. There is no point in purchasing it in Rumania or Bulgaria, as it is much more expensive in price of the gasoline produced in Azerbaijan, and the quality is nearly the sameвЂќ.
According to the valid Georgian-Azerbaijani understanding, Azerbaijan sells gasoline to Georgia at preferential prices вЂ" by 12% lower of the world prices, Mtvralashvili underlined.
According to him, prior to it, the UnionвЂ™s delegation plans to visit Azerbaijan, to meet with the SOCAR head Natig Aliyev and get acquainted personally with the technical re-equipment of the gasoline producing refineries.
Mtvralashvili voiced confidence, that introduction of the gasoline new quality standards in Georgia will not cause the gasoline smuggling growth, which level is currently brought to minimal. The main reason of it he called the qualitative work of the finance police and the customs department of Georgia.