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Sinopec to supply cleaner oil products by 2014

Sinopec Corp., Asia’s largest oil refiner, announced that it will build upgraded desulfurization facilities in its 12 refineries by the end of 2013. The refiner will also sell oil products that meet the national 4 standard for pollutant emissions by 2014. But cleaner fuel may also mean higher prices.
 
China currently has no countrywide standard on sulfur content in gasoline, which has led to inconsistencies across the varying regions. The developed regions, including Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, use the national 4 standard 50 ppm or below, while remaining regions have adopted the national 3 standard, which allows the sulfur content in fuel to be as high as 150 parts per million (ppm). Beijing is the only city in China that has adopted the national 5 standard, which is equivalent to the Euro V vehicle emissions standard, which caps sulfur content below 10 ppm.
 
Repeated incidents of severe air pollution during winter across China’s central and eastern parts have given rise to public outcry over oil quality, which contributes to air pollution. Fu Chengyu, board chairman of Sinopec, admitted that oil-refining companies were among those directly responsible for the smog. However, defending Sinopec’s oil quality, he said that air pollution is not the result of substandard oil products. Fu asserts that China’s oil standards are not high enough. (February 2, 2013)