(Eds: Adds oil minister’s comments, details) New Delhi, Nov 22 (PTI) Ultra-clean Euro-VI grade petrol and diesel, sourced from refineries in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab, will be supplied in the national capital from next April in a bid to combat alarming levels of air pollution.

“There is no scope for any doubt or confusion. BS-VI petrol and diesel (equivalent of fuel meeting Euro-VI emission norm) will be supplied in Delhi from April 1. We have done all preliminary work on sourcing of supplies etc,” Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters here.

To meet Delhi’s consumption of over 9 lakh tonnes of petrol and 12.6 lakh tonnes of diesel, Mathura refinery in Uttar Pradesh, Bina in Madhya Pradesh and Bhatinda in Punjab will start making Euro-VI grade fuel by mid-January so that supplies to customers start from April 1.

“We will be able to meet requirement of Delhi from April 1,” IOC Chairman Sanjiv Singh said. “Refineries are very much capable of producing BS-VI grade fuel and we just have to tweak the fuel production slate.”

Also, storages will have to be separated for BS-VI fuel from the present quality BS-IV fuel.

India had in 2015 decided to leapfrog to Euro-VI emission norm compliant petrol and diesel from April 2020, from the Euro-IV grade at present.

The deadline for the rest of the country stands. However, for Delhi, which is choking on thick toxic smog, the deadline for introduction of BS-VI – equivalent to Euro-VI grade, was last week preponed to April 2018.

Euro-VI grade fuel contains 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur as against 50 ppm in Euro-IV fuels.

Oil firms have been asked to examine the possibility of introduction of BS-VI auto fuels in the entire NCR, which includes adjoining cities of Ghaziabad, Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad, from April 1, 2019.

“Meeting Delhi’s requirement of BS-VI grade petrol and diesel will not be a problem. But the meeting the requirement of National Capital Region (NCR) will be a challenge as it consumes about 10 per cent of the nation’s fuel,” Singh said.

IOC, the nation’s biggest oil firm, will source the BS-VI fuel to meet Delhi’s requirement from its Mathura refinery, while Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) will do so from its joint venture refinery at Bhatinda. Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) supply the fuel from its Bina refinery.

The current BS-IV emission norm was introduced across the country from April 1, 2017.

Pradhan said: “We are committed to supplying BS-VI grade fuel all over the country from 2020.”

Oil refineries will need to invest Rs 28,000 crore in upgrading petrol and diesel quality to meet cleaner fuel specifications by 2020.

According to IOC, for petrol engines, one of the most critical specification is Research Octane No. (RON), which has improved from 88 in BS-II to 91. It is at par with regular 91 octane gasoline (petrol) required for Euro VI emission norms.

Sulphur specification for petrol and diesel will be reduced 50 times for a level of 500 ppm for BS-II fuel to 10 ppm in BS-VI.

Previously, the fuels meeting Euro IV or Bharat Stage (BS) IV specifications were to be supplied throughout the country by April 2017 and BS V or Euro V grade fuel by April 1, 2020.

But now the government plans to switch over directly from BS IV to BS VI auto fuels.

Oil refineries had previously upgraded technology and invested over Rs 55,000 crore for production and supply of BS III/IV fuels.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.