The Telegraph. Indian refiners appear not to be prepared to meet completely the April 1 deadline for the introduction of gasoline and diesel conforming to Euro-3 fuel standards in 11 cities and Euro-2 grade fuel in the rest of the country, according to a government status report.
Imports can help meet the deadline for the introduction of Euro-3 grade gasoline, but Euro-3 diesel could only be introduced in six cities—Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad—as the fuel is not available internationally for import.
The other five Euro-3 cities—Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Kanpur and Agra—might have qualifying diesel supplies after May.
The quality of fuel is a critical factor in reducing emissions. India has linked its Bharat Stage emissions and fuel specifications to the Euro standards—BS-II, for example, is Euro-2 equivalent.
Sulfur is one of the key elements that must be reduced. Not only does sulfur in the fuel contribute to the formation of sulfur dioxide (a component of acid rain), but sulfur concentrations spoil the catalytic converters needed to reduce other emissions. Below are two tables showing select current and targeted norms: one for gasoline, the other for diesel.
India’s restrictions on sulfur are not quite as exacting as the Euro standards, or the new low-sulfur US EPA regulations due to take effect in 2006. Euro-4 gasoline fuel reference specifications call for 100 ppm sulfur in Euro-3 and 10 ppm in Euro-4. The Euro-4 diesel spec mandates less than 10 ppm. The EPA has mandated sulfur fuels with less than 15 ppm by the end of 2006.
|Select Indian Gasoline Standards|
|Indian Diesel Sulfur Standards|
The BS-II (Bharat Stage) requirements were in effect for the 11 major cities above in 2003, and go into effect for the entire rest of the country on 1 April 2005—the same date the BS-III standards go into effect for the 11 cities above.
By 1 April 2010, the Indian government plans to have the 11 cities supplied with BS-IV conformant fuel, while the BS-III standards would then extend to the rest of the country.