Recently Georgia was hosting The European Quality Week. The week is an annual campaign to demonstrate the value of quality, focused on the public consciousness, which is traditionally held in November. Wissol Group, as one of the leading business groups in Georgia, represented in the energy sector together with other retail businesses, decided to invite The FINANCIAL to show how the company manages and controls the quality of its products and services. Wissol Group owns the widest chain of gas stations nationwide, provides bunkering services and under Air Wissol brand, the company imports and distributes high qualify aviation fuel at Georgian Airport s.
JSC Wissol Petroleum Georgia (Wissol) owns and operates over 110 petrol and CNG service stations in the country. Wissol has 3 (three) inter land oil terminals with stationary laboratories. The company owned biggest oil terminal in Georgia is located in Samtredia, the Western Georgia. The Oil Terminal can accommodate 33 million litres of petrol, diesel and jet fuel. Terminal is Samtredia can store half the amount of oil products Georgia consumes monthly. The other two Wissol oil terminals are located in Tbilisi , near the Lilo’s premises and in from ofTbilisi International Airport .
Wissol was 1-st to brake the stereotype of 90’s that “it is impossible to obtain European-quality fuel in Georgia”. The latest European standard - Euro 5 Italian fuel from API is available to the local customers at Wissol gas stations since 2009. The company started to import the high quality Italian fuel from API in 2007. In 2009 Wissol further refined fuel quality control system. The company Quality Control Department obtained express mobile lab and since then fuel quality control procedures start from the import of petroleum products from the country of origin and finishes with the customer car tank inspection. Wissol is at customer service 24/7 and whenever calling at hot line *1000 lab will turn out at the service station and customer can check the fuel product quality and specifications at the spot.Wissol was the first oil company in Georgia which has received an ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Certificate, having held it since 2006 and successfully completing recertification processes every year.
Wissol gas stations are equipped with the most modern Gilbarco Veeder-Root fuel pumps. Gilbarco Veeder-Root is theglobal leader in fuel dispenser technology and integrated fuelling solutions ensuring the 100% accuracy in fuel supply to customers. World leading companies such as Shell, Total, BP and other multinational brands are users of Gilbarco fuel dispensers. Wissol started using Gilbarco dispensers back in 2005,” said Marlen Mumladze, Monitoring Specialist, Monitoring and Supervision Department of Wissol.
“We permanently check the fuel dispensers with special measurement system. Gilbarco fuel pumps have flexible functions and are flexible in operation. Thestations are totally automated and fully exclude the human error,” Mumladze said.
According to Mumladze there is a special Gilbarco automated measurement system, which is integrated into the fuel tanks, located at the gas stations. It detects and thereforeprevents the existence of water or other particulars in the tank. If as a result of flood or any other natural disaster a single drop of water appears in the tank, this equipment sounds a warning signal inside the office and blocks the fuel supply system automatically.
The quality control cycle at Wissol starts from the refinery. Independent international quality control laboratories regularly test the quality of fuel that Wissol imports and distributes.
“SGS is our partner and they start to control the quality and quantity of fuel before it is imported to Georgia. After that the fuel is loaded in the ship tankers which arrive in Poti. SGS conducts quality tests and evaluates quantity parameters of petroleum products at the port and only after the procedure the products are reloaded and transported to Wissol terminals,” said Besarion Mamisashvili, Wissol’s Product Quality Control Expert.
“When the fuel arrives at our terminals, quality control testing process is held again. In order to make sure that our valuable customers receive the highest quality fuel, we have special quality control cycle for petroleum products available at the gas stations as well.Wissol has a special Express Laboratory which checks petrol stations all around Georgia. This laboratory works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week”, Mamisashvili said.
“The Express Laboratory makes it possible to efficiently monitor the quality of the petroleum products being offered. The Laboratory is equipped with up-to-date equipment, making it possible to determine flash temperature, content of methyl, ethyl ethers of fatty acids, methanol, ethanol, oxygen, octane and cetane values, and density. During the day we check about 5-6 stations,” he added.
Mr. Mamisashvili demonstrated to one of The FINANCIAL’s journalists how they check petrol from the fuel pumps at Express Laboratory. The Api Premium Italian fuel was placed in the Express octano meter. They checked the octane value, water content, amount of mechanical additives, specific gravity and transparency. According to the test all these indexes corresponded to the standards for premium product.
One of the stationary laboratories of Wissol is located at the company owned terminal on the territory of the Tbilisi International Airport . Wissol Group captured the air fuel market in 2007 with Air Wissol and made a solid investment to create most modern and technologically advanced hydrant system infrastructure on the territory of the Airport with the objective to provide aircrafts with jet fuel using a special cascade of pipelines.
The International Air Transportation Association (IATA)has given the Air Wissol the Green Color Status. IFQP/IATA Fuel Quality Pool inspected the fuel storage tanks at theterminal, fuel reception and supply system, hydrant systems, quality control laboratory, health, safety and environmental regulation and evaluated the company's personnel qualification. The inspection group concluded that fuelling operations and activities conducted by Air Wissol are conducted in accordance with all applicable requirements, standards and procedures
“Turkish Airlines, Belavia, China Southern Airlines, Czech Airlines, Polish Airlines LOT, Pegasus Airlinesand other international or local airlines trust the quality of products and services provided by Air Wissol and represent our loyal customers”, said Bekar Abramishvii, Air Wissol Director.
The third oil terminal of Wissol is located near Lilo premises. “When oil products appear at our terminals we have to analyze the specific gravity, determine the octane value of the fuel, composition of oil fractions, temperature measurement, and determination of acids and bases, in the case of diesel - existence of water, fractional composition, density, filtration and many other different components. Stationary laboratories give wider opportunities to check oil products and their quality,” Mamisashvili said.
There are plenty of special equipments for holding tests and taking measurements at Wissol laboratories. “These technologies guarantee the provision of the highest quality of the oil products which are imported and distributed by Wissol through its network all over Georgia,” Mamisashvili added.