Oil refiners in India have their work cut out for them if they are to meet the petroleum minister's deadline to provide BS VI grade petrol and diesel by April 2018. While they may have been well on track with the earlier announced deadline of the year 2020, refiners are struggling to keep to the new deadline. With the government expecting supplies of the newer fuel across multiple cities after the Delhi-NCR soft launch, refiners will need investment to the tune of Rs 55,000 crore to be utilised in a single fiscal where earlier it could have been spread over three.
BS VI will reduce sulphur content in fuel from 50 PPM to 10 PPM. It took oil refiners nearly four years to upgrade oil production from BS III to BS IV, and nearly seven years to complete the roll-out, which culminated only in April this year. Officials in the refinery sector are confident that they can meet the target but that remains to be seen.
Anilesh S. Mahajan