Gazprom Neft Starts Gasoline Hydrotreater at Omsk Refinery

May 30 (Bloomberg) -- OAO Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russia’s biggest company by value, opened a gasoline hydrotreater unit today with capacity of 1.2 million metric tons a year at its Omsk refinery in western Siberia.

Construction on the unit, which will improve fuel quality, began in 2010 and cost 4.5 billion rubles ($138 million), Gazprom Neft Chief Executive Officer Alexander Dyukov told journalists today in Omsk.

Russian excise tax rates for motor fuels are linked to the products’ environmental characteristics to encourage production of cleaner fuel. Gazprom Neft is upgrading its refineries to benefit from the savings, Dyukov said.

Gazprom Neft plans for all the gasoline produced at Omsk to meet Euro-5 quality standards from 2013, while all diesel produced at the plant will meet Euro-5 standards by 2014, the St. Petersburg-based company said in a statement distributed at the opening ceremony. Euro-5 grade motor fuel contains no more than 10 parts per million of sulfur.

Omsk, Russia’s biggest refinery, has capacity to process 20 million tons of crude a year, or 402,000 barrels a day, according to the statement. Hydrotreaters remove sulfur, metal and other impurities from refined oil products.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Bierman in Moscow at sbierman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net