Delhi is set to become the first place in India to have Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) fuel equalling Euro VI standards. Government-controlled oil marketing companies will go completely on BS-VI from Sunday in Delhi.
Interestingly, the fuel quality enhancement for petrol and diesel will not come at an extra price for consumers now as companies have decided to pass on the cost when the entire country will switch on to higher grade fuel in April 2020. The upgraded fuel will be available at all the 391 retail outlets in Delhi. Including the extra cost for BS-VI up-gradation till 2020, state-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is planning to invest around Rs 1.43 trillion in the next five years, said B V Rama Gopal, director refineries of IOC.
“We are going to supply to the NCT region from Mathura and Panipat Refineries. The fuel shall be made available from 187 retail outlets of IndianOil within Delhi. Our next milestone is on April 1, 2019 to cover NCR and other Metro cities, which include 1013 IndianOil retail outlets,” he said. Already companies had kicked off its supply of BS VI to Delhi. The supply of higher grade fuels from Mathura and Panipat Refinery was started from January 22, 2018 and February 8, 2018 respectively to IOC’s Bijwasan and Tikrikalan terminals.
With the launch of BS-VI, the sulphur component in the fuel has been reduced from 50 parts per million (ppm) to 10 ppm max, which will facilitate reduction of Sulphur dioxide emission from vehicles and this measure is expected to mitigate the issues of environmental concerns. Experts say that with existing fleet of vehicles in Delhi, the move will help in reducing particulate matter by at least 10-20 per cent. The national launch of BS VI is slated in April 2020.
OMCs claim that construction activities are in full swing and fuel quality upgradation projects for production of BS-VI grade petrol and diesel have achieved 42.5 per cent physical progress so far. Delhi has a petrol demand of 960 TMT per annum, out of which 443 TMT is coming from IOC outlets. On the other hand, it has a diesel demand of 1265 TMT, of which 634 TMT is IOC’s share.
IOC is planning to increase the present installed refining capacity of 80.7 million metric tonnes per annum (MTPA), to an estimated 150 MT by 2030. “We have around Rs 1.06 trillion worth of approved refinery projects in pipeline for the next five years. Another Rs 365 billion worth of projects – including expansion of Paradip refinery from 15 to 18 MT, Bongaigaon from 3-4.5 MT and Gauhati from 1 to 1.7 MT are on pipeline,” he added. The three oil marketing companies are also in the process of a 60 MT refinery at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, for which global majors like Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) have shown interest to be a partner.
According to estimates, BS VI compliant diesel vehicles will reduce Nitrogen Oxide (NO) by 68 per cent, while the impact will be 25 per cent on petrol. India had taken the decision to skip BS-V and move directly to BS VI in January 2016. The reduction of nitrogen oxide in diesel will be a substantial relief for Delhi as the cancer causing particulate matter emissions from diesel will also come down by around 80 per cent.
Fuel quality improvement: Journey so far
1991: Introduction of Vehicular Emission Norms
1996: Launch of BS 2000
1999: BS-I & BS II notified
2005-10: BS III
2010-17: BS IV
April 1, 2018: BS VI in Delhi
April 1, 2019: NCR and 13 metroes
April 1, 2020: Rest of India