With dirty air leaving Delhi gasping, the Petroleum Ministry Wednesday said it was advancing the introduction of Bharat Stage VI grade fuels in the Capital by two years to April next year with the aim to bring down emission pollution. After consulting state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs), which also double up as refiners, the Ministry issued a statement that BS-VI grade auto fuels would be dispensed with effect from April 1, 2018 instead of the scheduled April 1, 2020.
“OMCs have also been asked to examine the possibility of introduction of BS-VI auto fuels in the whole of National Capital Region area with effect from April 1, 2019,” the statement added.
Indian Oil Corp Chairman and Managing Director Sanjiv Singh said refining configuration would be in position to start supplying the higher grade in New Delhi from April 1. “Only Delhi is possible as a small quantity is required. It will be a challenge, but we will do it,” he said.
The main difference in standards between the existing BS-IV and the new BS-VI auto fuel norms is the presence of sulphur. The BS-VI fuel is estimated to bring around an 80 per cent reduction of sulphur, from 50 parts per million to 10 ppm. According to analysts, the emission of NOx (nitrogen oxides) from diesel cars is also expected to come down by nearly 70 per cent and 25 per cent from cars with petrol engines.
Delhi consumed 9.06 lakh tonnes of petrol and 12.67 lakh tonnes of diesel in fiscal year 2016-17 (April to March) as against the national total of 237.65 lakh tonnes and 759.77 lakh tonnes respectively.
The Ministry statement said the advancement was part of the government’s “concerted efforts to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency with an aim to reduce the carbon footprints and keep a healthy environment”.
BS-IV grade was introduced in April this year but India subsequently decided to jump to BS-VI grade by April 2020 to meet international best practices. “This measure is expected to help mitigate the problem of air pollution in National Capital Territory of Delhi and surrounding areas,” it said.