BS-VI Fuel: India Switches To World’s Cleanest Petrol, Diesel With No Increase In Prices
A droplet of petrol falls from a refueling nozzle on the forecourt of a OAO Gazprom Neft PJSC gas station in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photographer: Oliver Bunic/Bloomberg)  

BS-VI Fuel: India Switches To World’s Cleanest Petrol, Diesel With No Increase In Prices

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With the implementation of Bharat Stage-VI emission norms, India on Wednesday joined a select group of countries that retail the world’s cleanest petrol and diesel.

BS-VI petrol and diesel, which have sulphur content of just 10 parts per million, were set to be costlier by Rs 1/litre each, but state-run oil firms decided to maintain the current prices by adjusting the levy against cheaper crude.

Crude oil prices have slumped to a 17-year-low due a pricing war between Russia and OPEC, and the supply glut created by the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are today 100 percent supplying BS-VI petrol and diesel. All the over 68,700 petrol pumps in the country are selling the cleaner fuel from today," Sanjiv Singh, chairman at Indian Oil Corp. Ltd., said.

Singh said the switch from BS-IV to BS-VI was achieved in just three years—a feat not seen in any of the large economies around the world.

India Emission Norms

The shift to BS-VI fuel comes exactly 20 years after BS-I emission norms were rolled out in India. BS-II for new cars was introduced in Delhi from 2000 and extended to other metro cities in 2001.

India adopted BS-III fuel with sulphur content of 350 ppm in 2010 and then took seven years to move to BS-IV that had a sulphur content of 50 ppm. From BS-IV to BS-VI it took just three years.

"We have as oil industry stuck to the timelines given by government for a switchover to BS-VI fuel from April 1," Singh told Press Trust of India. "In fact, we had been supplying BS-VI fuel for almost three weeks now."

State-owned oil refineries spent about Rs 35,000 crore to upgrade their plants to make ultra-low sulphur fuel. This investment is on top of the Rs 60,000 crore they spent on refinery upgrades in the previous switchovers.

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