Prices are likely to go up, because on November 5, a new technical regulation regarding the requirements for liquefied gas, approved by the Cabinet of Minister's decree of July 29 last year, will come into force. Most likely, it will cut off part of supplies from Russia and Belarus, from where cheaper autogas traditionally came to Ukraine than by sea.
On the other hand, compliance with the new regulations should help improve the environment and reduce the harmful effects on the interior of cars.
Why are the new technical regulations adopted?
Now the quality of autogas is not controlled in any way. The lack of appropriate technical regulations gives market participants the right not to adhere to standards.
In Ukraine, two documents are in force in parallel. This is also the Soviet standard "Liquefied hydrocarbon gases for road transport", which should expire in Ukraine on January 1, 2022. And the second is the national standard "Automobile fuels. Liquefied petroleum gas. Technical requirements and control methods", which was approved back in 2017 and meets modern European requirements.
According to the legislation, the application of national standards for business entities is voluntary and not mandatory. After the entry into force of the technical regulation (from November 5), the national standard will become mandatory.
The tightening of requirements for liquefied gas, which is intended for refueling cars, should help protect the car, the environment, and the health of the driver himself, according to the press service of OKKO. The fact is that excess sulfur or hydrogen sulfide threatens the environment with toxic emissions. They threaten the car with damage to metal and rubber parts, contamination of pipelines, catalysts, and other elements of the fuel system. As a result, and unnecessary fuel consumption.
A reduced octane number leads to excessive fuel consumption and premature wear of the vehicle's fuel system. Excess dienes in the gas can corrode rubber and plastic parts in the fuel system.
From the point of view of vehicle operation, such an indicator as the residue after evaporation is also important. For domestic gas, it is not regulated at all, and for automobile gas, it is 60 mg/kg.
"The residue after evaporation testifies to the purity of the gas. The less, the better. Limit of the dry residue means that such fuel can deactivate gas equipment by contaminating the nozzles or membranes of gas reducers," the OKKO press service said.
"In Kyiv, up to 90% of all atmospheric emissions are generated by mobile vehicles. About 4% of them are accounted for by aviation, railroad, and water transport. The rest are cars. Accordingly, the use of low-quality fuel negatively affects the air condition in our cities," said the head of the State Environmental Inspection Andriy Maliovany.
According to rough estimates, each car emits on average 700 kg of carbon monoxide, 40 kg of nitrogen dioxide, and 230 kg of unburned carbohydrates per year. As a result of the use of low-quality fuel, the volumes of these emissions are increasing, the State Environmental Inspectorate emphasized.
Carbon monoxide leads to oxygen starvation of the body. Hydrocarbon dioxide together with low oxygen concentration can cause poor health, nitric oxide affects the respiratory tract and lungs. Fine particulate matter also affects the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. According to the WHO, as the concentration of fine particulate matter increases, the risk of premature death increases.
As you know, Kyiv entered the top twenty cities with the most polluted air. The capital is in 12th place in terms of pollution. The index of Kyiv is 96 with a norm of 50.
After the entry into force of the new technical regulation in Ukraine, most likely, there will be high-quality autogas on pistols, but, however, at prices much higher than the current ones. We will return to this later.
New technical regulation for liquefied gas
The key provision of the new technical regulation is the requirement that only automobile liquefied gas should be sold at gas stations. The document has a clear separation of the spheres of application of automobile and municipal gas (which can be used to fill cylinders used for kitchen gas burners). And also the regulatory characteristics for each type of liquefied gas are spelled out, explained OKKO press service.
"Of course, the full implementation of technical regulations will lead to an increase in autogas prices - a quality product in the purchase will cost more, and the liquefied technical gas that does not meet the requirements will need to be brought to a standard - this is also a cost. Quality control procedures and batch certification are also additional costs. This will become a new reality for many importers who have never tested products and often do not always understand what product quality they are selling," Oleksandr Lyuty said.
Serhiy Fedorenko also believes that compliance with the regulations will increase the price of autogas. But on the other hand, the expert emphasizes, it will encourage companies to invest in infrastructure, create jobs, pay salaries to people, and not profit exclusively using a speculative method.
According to the director for commercial issues of JSC "Ukrgazvydobuvannya", according to feelings today, no more than 70% of all sold autogas meet the requirements of the regulations in Ukraine.
"The introduction of the regulation is likely to suppress or significantly reduce the volumes of autogas imported from Russia. TCO carries gas from Kazakhstan that meets the requirements of the technical regulations, supplies from Belarusian refineries (Mozyr Oil Refinery and Rechitsa Gas Processing Plant) also do not correspond. Deliveries from some Rosneft plants do not correspond "and a number of other Russian manufacturers," Fedorenko said.
According to Oleksandr Lyuty, Ukraine imports a lot of LPG (at least 80%) of its consumption. These are mainly supplies from the Russian Federation or the Republic of Belarus.
"Kazakhstan supplies very high-quality fractions for the production of autogas, most likely there will be no questions about them. But there are questions about the Russian and even Belarusian resources. The Mozyr Oil Refinery exports products manufactured in accordance with European requirements, and fully complies with the requirements of the technical regulations introduced in Ukraine, but the Rechitsa plant does not declare at the moment of compliance with the requirements of European standards," Lyuty said.
According to him, there are more questions regarding Russian autogas. Most of the products that are from the Russian Federation do not meet the requirements of the technical regulations. This is due to the fact that product standards in the CIS are much softer than EU standards and the new standard that will become mandatory in Ukraine, the expert says. There is Russian gas, the production of which complies with the technical regulations - everything depends on the plant and the technologies it uses.
At the same time, much will depend on the activity of the regulatory authorities: if they responsibly fine gas stations that sell autogas that does not comply with the regulations, fight gas stations operating without licenses (do not qualify for inspections) and illegal refineries, Ukraine is likely to have high-quality autogas but at much higher prices.
“Much will depend on the activity of the inspection bodies. region) they will be engaged in civilized blending - mixing and bringing to the standard. And everyone who is dragging to Ukraine from abroad under the guise of autogas will be forced to bring it to the appropriate quality,” Fedorenko emphasizes.
According to the director for commercial issues of JSC Ukrgasvydobuvannya, the issue of implementing the regulations is the same as the question of whether we need the Euro-5 gasoline standard, because we can stay with Euro-3 and with the consequences of its use, from which the whole world is trying leave.
Will the regulation be postponed again, or will it go into effect without strict enforcement? Or, perhaps, in an effort to improve the environment, the authorities will not be afraid even of the inevitable rise in prices and a significant strengthening of the positions of the largest gas station chains? We will soon find out what choice the officials will make.