India will switch to the world’s cleanest petrol and diesel from April 1 as it leapfrogs straight to Euro-VI emission compliant fuels from Euro-IV grades now – a feat achieved in merely three years and not observed in either of the large economies throughout the globe.
India will enter the elite group of countries using petrol and diesel holding just 10 parts per million of sulphur as it seems to make vehicular eruptions that are stated to be one of the reasons for the choking pollution in primary centers.
Sanjiv Singh, Chairman of Indian Oil Corp (IOC) – the firm that controls roughly half of the country’s fuel market, said almost all refineries began producing ultra-low sulphur BS-VI (equivalent to Euro-VI grade) petrol and diesel by the end of 2019 and oil companies have now undertaken the tedious task of replacing every drop of fuel in the country with the new one.
Sanjiv Singh: 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.
From storage depots, the fuel has started traveling to petrol pumps and in the next few weeks all of them will only have BS-VI grade petrol and diesel, he said. he also said that they are 100 percent confident that fuel that will flow from nozzles at all the petrol pumps in the country on April 1 will be BS-VI emission compliant fuel.
India adopted Euro-III equivalent (or Bharat Stage-III) fuel with a sulphur content of 350 ppm in 2010 and then took seven years to move to BS-IV that had a sulphur content of 50 ppm.
State-owned oil factories allocated about Rs 35,000 crore to enhance factories that could deliver ultra-low sulphur fuel. This investment is on top of Rs 60,000 crore they used on factory ascents in the past switch overs.
BS-VI has a sulphur content of just 10 ppm and emission standards are as good as CNG. Originally, Delhi and its neighboring cities were to have BS-VI fuel stocks by April 2019 and the rest of the nation was to get the same fuel from April 2020.
But oil marketing groups turned over to provide of BS-VI grade fuels in the territory of Delhi on April 1, 2018.
The supply of BS-VI fuels was further extended to four contiguous districts of Rajasthan and eight of Uttar Pradesh in the National Capital Region (NCR) on April 1, 2019, together with the city of Agra.
BS-VI grade fuels were made available in 7 districts of Haryana from October 1, 2019. Mr. Singh said the new fuel will result in a reduction in NOx in BS-VI compliant vehicles by 25 percent in petrol cars and by 70 percent in diesel cars.
The switchover, he said, is a tedious task as every drop of old, higher-sulphur content fuel has to be flushed out in depots, pipelines, and tanks before being replaced by BS-VI.
Mr.Singh: We are confident of disruption-free switchover to BS-VI supplies across the country. What we will be supplying is the best quality available anywhere in the world. You don’t have any better fuel that is supplied in any part of the world. Perhaps our BS-VI fuel will be better than equivalent fuel in some parts of the US and Europe.
India selected a fuel up-gradation plan in the early 1990s. Low lead gasoline (petrol) was launched in 1994 in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. On February 1, 2000, unleaded gasoline was mandated nationwide.
Similarly, BS-2000 vehicle emission norms were introduced for new vehicles from April 2000. BS-II emission norms for new cars were introduced in Delhi from 2000 and extended to the other metro cities in 2001.
Benzene limits have been reduced progressively from 5 percent in 2000 to 1 percent nationwide. Lead content in gasoline was withdrawn in stages and just unleaded gasoline is being generated and sold from February 1, 2000.
Mr. Singh said sulphur reduction will reduce Particulate Matter (PM) emissions even in the in-use older generation diesel vehicles.