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India Delays Nationwide Rollout of Lo-Sulfur Fuels

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  • #2806

    Mrityunjay Singh

    Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) — India, the worlds fourth-largest polluter, delayed the nationwide rollout of cleaner-burning gasoline and diesel by six months, setting back a plan to cut emissions.

    Refiners including Indian Oil Corp., the nations second biggest, will start supplying Euro-III grade fuels beginning April 1 and cover the entire country by Oct. 1, Oil Secretary R.S. Pandey, the top bureaucrat in the ministry, told reporters in New Delhi today after a meeting with the processing companies. Sale of Euro-IV grade gasoline and diesel will start in the 13 mandated cities including New Delhi and Mumbai as scheduled on April 1, he said.

    India is shifting to cleaner-burning motor fuels as it seeks to reduce pollution and move toward standards in the U.S. and Europe. Indian Oil and state-run rivals are spending 235 billion rupees ($5.2 billion) to upgrade their plants to supply Asias third-biggest energy consumer. The upgrades in some refineries couldnt be completed on time for the April 1 deadline, junior oil minister Jitin Prasada said.

    These are huge investments and the scope of work is big, said Sarthak Behuria, chairman of Indian Oil. India is a huge country and it is not possible to roll out such a big project on a single day.

    Indian Oil gained 1.8 percent to 323.70 rupees in Mumbai trading compared with a 0.5 percent rise in the benchmark Sensitive Index of the Bombay Stock Exchange. Bharat Petroleum Corp. increased 0.4 percent and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. gained 1.1 percent.

    Phased Implementation

    The plan for the phased implementation will be ready by Feb. 15, Behuria said. Indian Oils largest refinery in Gujarat and plants in the eastern state of Bihar and Assam may not be ready to produce Euro-III grade fuels beginning April 1, he said.

    Non-state-owned refiners including Reliance Industries Ltd. and Essar Oil Ltd. have also agreed to start selling cleaner- burning fuels by April, Pandey said.

    Indian Oil may need to import as much as 2.5 million metric tons of Euro-III specification diesel in the four to five months starting April, Behuria said.

    The Euro-IV standard specifies a maximum of 50 parts per million of sulfur for diesel, according to the United Nations Environment Program Web site. The Euro-III grade has a maximum of 350 parts per million of sulfur.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Rakteem Katakey in New Delhi at

    Last Updated: January 13, 2010 07:24 EST


    Paul Orlowski
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  • #24625

    Paul R Orlowski

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