India to switch to world's cleanest petrol, diesel from April
Racing ahead to comply with European emission standards, India is set to switch over to the world's cleanest petrol and diesel. Starting April 1, India will have Euro-VI emission compliant fuels flowing out of every nozzle across the nation, Chairperson of Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Sanjiv Singh told PTI. Notably, India looks forward to making the switch directly from the current Euro-IV compliant fuels.
BS-VI has sulfur content of 10 ppm; comparable to CNG
Singh told PTI that by late 2019, nearly all refineries had started producing the low-sulfur BS(Bharat Stage)-VI fuel (equivalent to Euro-VI grade). BS-VI has a sulfur content of 10 ppm and is said to be as clean as CNG. Reportedly, only a select few nations use fuel this clean. The low-sulfur content would cut down vehicular emissions which contribute to pollution in major cities.
Oil companies started replacing fuel at storage depots, pumps
Singh said the process of replacing the existing fuel with its cleaner alternative is on track. Oil companies have started replacing the fuel at storage depots and fuel pumps. Singh said, "We are absolutely on track for supplying BS-VI fuel from April 1. Almost all refineries have begun supplying BS-VI fuel and the same has reached storage depots across the country."
'Our BS-VI perhaps better than US, Europe equivalents'
Singh said, "What we'll be supplying is the best quality available anywhere in the world. You don't have any better fuel supplied in any part of the world. Perhaps our BS-VI will be better than equivalent fuel in some parts of the US and Europe."
India switched from BS-IV to BS-VI in 3 years
India had last switched from BS-III fuel to BS-IV in 2017. BS-III fuels have a sulfur content of 350 ppm, while BS-IV fuels have a sulfur content of 50 ppm. Notably, the switch from BS-III fuel to BS-IV had taken India seven years. Now, India has switched from BS-IV to BS-VI, leaping over BS-V grade, in just three years—an unprecedented feat.
Switching to BS-V first would have prolonged journey: Singh
Singh said, "It was a conscious decision to leapfrog to BS-VI as first upgrading to BS-V and then shifting to BS-VI would have prolonged the journey to 4 to 6 years." He added, "Besides, oil refineries, as well as automobile manufacturers, would have had to make investments twice; first to producing BS-V grade fuel and engines and then BS-VI ones."
State-owned refineries spent Rs. 35,000 crore to upgrade plants
Reportedly, state-owned oil refineries have had to spend Rs. 35,000 crore to upgrade plants to produce BS-VI grade fuel. This is in addition to the Rs. 60,000 crore they spent to upgrade plants in the previous switchovers. With every switchover, the older high-sulfur fuel also has to be flushed out of depots, pipelines, tanks, before it can be replaced.
Delhi got BS-VI fuel in April 2018
Delhi and adjoining areas were originally supposed to be supplied with BS-VI fuel by April 2019, however, oil marketing companies made the switchover in the national capital territory on April 1, 2018. By April 1, 2019, BS-VI fuel was extended to four districts of Rajasthan, eight districts of Uttar Pradesh, and Agra. By October 1, the fuel was made available in seven Haryana districts.