New Delhi: The government is unlikely to relax the 2010 deadline for introduction of Euro IV grade fuel in the country and may ask state refiners to expedite upgradation of their units to meet the schedule.
State-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum (BPC) and Hindustan Petroleum (HPC) had requested the Petroleum Ministry for postponing the deadline for beginning supply of Euro IV fuel in major Indian cities from 2010 to 2015.
“The ministry has committed supply of the high-quality fuel to major cities from 1 April, 2010. We cannot change the schedule now,” said a senior official.
The three firms facing cash crunch because of losses on sale of petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene wanted more time to make investments in upgrading their refineries to produce Euro-IV grade petrol and diesel.
Production of Euro-IV grade fuel requires setting up of hydro-treater plants and refineries in crowded cities like Mumbai, which is faced with problems relating to acquiring of land for the facility.
The official said: “The ministry was not inclined to accept the oil companies’ request as most of the refineries were on schedule to meet the deadline. Only refineries of HPCL were lagging but with some tightening, it could also meet the deadline.”
In a recent meeting held to review the fuel quality upgradation projects, the ministry found that most refinery upgradation projects may be completed by December 2009 or by January-February of 2010.
“In view of the progress made by oil PSUs on fuel quality upgradation projects, the suggestion of IOC, BPC, HPC to approach the Supreme Court through the Ministry for relaxation of the effective dates of implementation of Euro-III/IV diesel fuel does not appear convincing,” the official said.