India plans to shift to Euro-VI emission compliant petrol and diesel by 2020 to cut carbon pollution, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday.

"We already have BS-III, equivalent to Euro-III specifications, across the country and BS-IV, in major cities which will shortly be extended to the entire country. A revised Auto Fuel Policy is in the offing which will lead to introduction of BS-VI fuels by 2020," he said.

Oil refineries will need to invest Rs 80,000 crore in upgrading petrol and diesel quality to meet cleaner fuel specifications by 2020.

Addressing a workshop on 'Carbon Emission Management', he said the fuels meeting Euro-IV or Bharat Stage (BS)-IV specifications are to be supplied throughout the country by April 2017 and BS-V or Euro-V grade fuel by April 1, 2020.

But now instead of stepwise upgradation from BS-IV to BS-V and then from BS-V to BS-VI, the government is planning to switch over directly from BS-IV to BS-VI auto fuels by April 1, 2020.

BS-IV fuels contain 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur, while BS-V and BS-VI grade fuel will have 10 ppm sulphur.

Oil refineries had previously upgraded technology and invested over Rs 55,000 crore for production and supply of BS-III/IV fuels. Another Rs 80,000 crore investment would be required for further upgradation.

Currently, BS-IV auto fuels are being supplied in whole of northern India covering J&K, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, parts of Rajasthan and western UP. The rest of the country has BS-III grade fuel.

From April 1, 2016, all of Goa, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha, Union Territories of Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Andaman & Nicobar will get BS-IV fuel. The rest of the country will get supplies of BS-IV fuel from April 1, 2017.

"We have decided to reduce carbon emissions across the entire value chain. We will try to increase efficiency and reduce flaring and venting in the upstream segment," Pradhan said.

To reduce pollution and green house gas (GHG) emissions, use of gas as transport fuel ( CNG) in cities is being encouraged.

"We are also studying the feasibility of using LNG as a transportation fuel for inter-city movement of heavy vehicles," he said.

India, he said, has pledged to improve the carbon emission intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 level and to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

Source: 29 October, 2015 The Times of India