India rolls out higher quality fuels in Delhi

Higher quality, lower sulfur, and less polluting Euro VI-compliant fuels were rolled out in India’s capital city, Delhi, on Sunday, April 1. The rollout is expected to reduce emissions of particulate matter (PM) by 10-20%, according to B.V. Rama Gopal, director (refineries) of Indian Oil Corp. Ltd.

“The fuel shall be made available from 187 petrol pumps of Indian Oil within Delhi. For the next milestone on 1 April 2019 (NCR and metro cities), 1,013 Indian Oil retail outlets shall be covered,” according to Indian Oil Corp.

The plan is to supply Alwar, Bharatpur, Karauli amd Dhaulpur by January 1, 2019, to be followed by Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Baghpat, Hapur, Buland Shahar and Shamli by April 1, 2019. Faridabad, Gurugram, Mahendranagar, Rewari, Jhajjar, Palwal and Mewat will follow on October 1, 2019.

While these higher quality fuels will be supplied by Indian Oil Corp. from its Mathura and Panipat refineries, other state-owned oil marketing companies, such as Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL), will supply these fuels from their Bhatinda and Bina refineries, respectively.

Indian refiners have spent more than INR 55,000 crore (USD 84.5 billion) to upgrade their refineries to be able to produce Euro or BS III or IV fuels. Another INR 28,000 crore (USD 4.3 billion) is planned to be spent to upgrade to Euro VI by the nationwide deadline of 2020. A particular challenge during this transition period is the logistics in delivering Euro VI fuels to the pump, as these cannot be sent via pipeline. For the moment, all Euro VI fuels will have to be brought to retail outlets from the refineries and terminals via tank trucks.