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India's government is in favour of banning imports of petroleum coke to curb air pollution, according to a government affidavit filed with its top court, which could be a big blow to US refiners who export heavily to the country.
The Supreme Court, which in October banned the use of petroleum coke in and around New Delhi in a bid to clean the air in one of the world's most polluted cities, on Monday deferred a scheduled hearing on a case on its use across the country to Wednesday.
India is the world's biggest consumer of petroleum coke, better known as petcoke, which is a dark solid carbon material that emits 11 per cent more greenhouse gases than coal, according to the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.
Burning it also emits several times more sulphur dioxide, which causes lung diseases and acid rain.
A country-wide import ban would require replacing 14 million tonnes of petcoke a year with 24 million to 31 million tonnes of coal, according to industry calculations, most of which would have to be imported.