Russian oil giant Lukoil has commissioned an isomerization unit at its Volgograd refinery, to produce a high-octane component of automobile petrol called izomerizate.

The new unit enables the Volgograd refinery to produce petrol that is fully compliant with the Euro-3 standard in 2008, Lukoil said.

The capacity of the new unit is 385,000 tons of raw materials per annum. The operations and catalyst license was obtained from US firm UOP. Design and estimate documentation was elaborated by OAO Lukoil-Rostovneftekhimprodukt and ZAO Neftekhimproekt. ZAO Globalstroy-Engineering acted as a general contractor for construction of the unit.

Vagit Alekperov, president of OAO Lukoil, said: Commissioning of the isomerization unit at the Volgograd refinery is yet another step in our large-scale project aimed at reconstructing and upgrading Lukoil refineries.

In 2006, the Volgograd refinery produced 9.12 million tons of commercial products, with high-octane gasoline output at 544,000 tons, which amounts to 63% of the total automobile petrol output.