Serbia: GazpromNeft NIS Oil company needs to fulfill Sulphur in fuels Directive

22. September 2015. / News Serbia Energy

GazpromNeft as majority owner of Oil Industry of Serbia needs to comply with Sulphur fuel Directive so Serbia can overcome a current issue with Energy Community.

With regard to the implementation of the Sulphur in Fuels Directive, the Energy Community Secretariat in 2013 launched an infringement procedure against Serbia.

This procedure concerns the production of heavy fuel oil and gas oil and therefore iis it has direct implications on the activities of NIS (GazpromNeft Oil) , the operator of the Pančevo refinery . While the Rulebook on Technical and Other Requirements for Petroleum-Derived Liquid Fuels contains a description of different types of heavy fuel oil, it is not in line with the definition set out by the Directive. Furthermore, the maximum sulphur content of certain fuel categories (HFO-S and HFO-T) are above 1% by mass which constitutes a breach of the Directive. As regards sampling and analysis, the Secretariat concluded that the standards referred to by the Serbian legislation cannot be considered as equivalent to the ones required by the Directive. The position of NIS remains unclear on this case , however,  such a situation is surely not in line with green policy of NIS or the EU policy promoted by the company.

In the meantime, Serbia has addressed one of the shortcomings related to the transposition and implementation of the Sulphur in Fuels Directive, namely by banning HFO-T. Other breaches, i.e. those related to the definition of fuels, HFO-S as well as sampling and analysis still persist, although an article of the recently adopted Energy Law establishes a legal basis for the creation of monitoring systems for the quality of liquid fuels. In order to address these shortcomings, the Energy Community Secretariat is currently preparing a Reasoned Opinion against Serbia.

As confirmed by Energy Community Secretariat,  Serbia must achieve complete transposition into national legislation and effective implementation of the Sulphur in Fuels Directive. This concerns in particular the provisions in the Rulebook on Technical and Other Requirements for Petroleum-Derived Liquid Fuels related to HFO-S and the monitoring rules. Despite the minor achievements such as the creation of the legal basis for monitoring systems, most of the Secretariat’s concerns remain valid and therefore infringement action needs to be continued until the breaches are rectified, transmits Serbia-energy.eu

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