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BS-VI rules for oil firms may be relaxed

Siam says certain draft guidelines not in line with Euro-VI standards

Emission Norms

Ajay Modi & Vijay C Roy  |  New Delhi 

Decoding emission norms

Having pushed the auto makers to advance Bharat Stage (BS)-VI norms by four years, the government intends to relax fuel specifications for oil refineries, majority of which are in the public sector, to enable them achieve a higher output. A draft notification issued last month lists standards for BS-VI diesel and petrol, some of which stands diluted compared to Euro-VI.

A government official involved in the decision-making process of BS-VI said the latest fuel specifications (of draft notification) will enable refineries to produce more diesel, petrol and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

“Diesel output can go up by two per cent and LPG can go up by a per cent, helping oil companies in recovering the amount invested in upgrading refineries for BS-VI fuel,” he said. The oil marketing companies (OMCs) — IndianOil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum — together will invest Rs 28,750 crore in upgrading refineries. Price of BS-VI fuel is also expected to rise marginally. An IndianOil spokesperson had not replied to queries at the time of going to print.

A delegation from the automobile industry body — Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) — met officials at the road transport ministry recently to express concerns. Last week, Siam submitted its comments on the draft notification to the ministry and highlighted objections.

BS-VI rules for oil firms may be relaxed
Carmakers have been mandated to bring BS-VI-compliant vehicles against the current BS-IV in the year 2020. Between November 2015 and January 2016, the government advanced implementation date from 2024 to 2020 to address vehicular pollution. Cost of a BS-VI compliant petrol car could go up by Rs 20,000, while a diesel vehicle will be dearer by Rs 1 lakh.

The automobile industry has argued that a relaxed fuel specification will not yield the desired emission result and also compromise the fuel efficiency, safety and durability of vehicle. In case of the petrol, the Research Octane Number (RON) of 95 can give three per cent higher fuel efficiency but the draft specifies a number of 91. In Euro-VI, the petrol octane rating is 95.

Octane rating or octane number is a standard measure of the performance of an engine or aviation fuel. The higher the RON, the more compression the fuel can withstand before detonating (igniting).

“Emission regulations and tightening of fuel specifications go hand in hand. It is disturbing to note that the specifications, especially for diesel have been dropped back to BS-II levels,” Siam said, seeking changes in line with the European specifications.

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First Published: Tue, March 22 2016. 00:41 IST