It sounds great, of course, but what would be the benefit to ordinary consumers?
At first glance - no. Especially if you try to find LUKoil’s financial advantage for ordinary consumers in this step - a new diesel fuel, naturally, is still 5–10% more expensive than that sold throughout the country. And why do they need expensive diesel fuel?
Today, according to a study by the All-Russian Research Institute of Oil Refining, the structure of the Russian automobile fleet is dominated by cars that do not meet European requirements (about 60% of the fleet) and only one out of ten cars “passes” according to Euro III and IV. With diesel engines, the situation is even more “uncivilized”. Eurodisels in Russia are most often guests. Such engines are mainly used in heavy vehicles transporting goods from Europe to Russia. The domestic truck fleet runs on pop-up diesel engines, which barely fit into domestic GOSTs in terms of the amount of toxic emissions into the atmosphere.
With the fleet of cars, the situation is even sadder. Official dealers (with rare exceptions) do not offer cars with diesel engines. Despite the fact that diesel engines are both more economical, and more reliable, and safer, Russians do not show interest in them. Why? In particular, because it is almost impossible to find diesel fuel from which your Euro diesel will not break in Russia, except for Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Compliance with European standards is difficult to popularize. This is a complex set of environmental, technological and chemical requirements for both the cars themselves and the fuel they consume. In European countries, no one goes to the diesel fuel that is used today in Russia; the sulfur content alone is different for us at times! In Germany, the countries of Scandinavia, Great Britain, diesel fuel with sulfur content meeting Euro IV standards is already produced. Moreover, a system of differential taxation on such fuel has been introduced. And in general, what can I say if most of our trucks with a diesel engine have not been allowed into Europe for a long time. In turn, European trucks enter the Russian expanses with great caution. Before the border, they try to refuel to the eyeballs, and only rare “proven” gas stations are chosen from us. A modern diesel engine is an expensive thing, and foreigners do not risk filling our ordinary solarium into it. Accordingly, the attractiveness of our country for automobile transit of goods sharply decreases.
In fact, LUKoil "podsuetsilsya" in a "narrow" place. The company is the first Russian oil company to begin large-scale production and sale of environmentally friendly diesel fuel with low sulfur content. In the summer, three oil refineries of the company started producing it at once: in Perm (200–220 thousand tons per month), Nizhny Novgorod (120–150 thousand tons) and in Ukhta (20 thousand). Fuel is offered in two types - winter and summer. It contains 0.005% sulfur, that is, 40 times less than that provided by Russian GOST!
According to Vladimir Rakitsky, the head of LUKoil’s refining and marketing technical support department, if in the first five months of 2005 the company produced about 1 million tons of Euro IV diesel fuel (26.6% of the total diesel fuel production), then in the third quarter 1.39 million tons (53.1% of the total) will produce it. LUKoil declares that the production is mainly focused on sales on the Russian market.