Indian Oil set to replace 80% storage terminals with BS VI fuel by January 31

by Shahkar Abidi 31 Jan 2020

As India approaches the April 1, 2020 deadline for transition to BS VI emission norms, the country’s largest oil marketing company, Indian Oil Corporation claims that almost 80 percent of its 121 bulk storage terminals/depots across the country will be replaced with the upgraded fuel by end of today -- January 31. The remaining ones are likely to get replaced by end-February.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the company’s latest financial result , Sanjiv Singh, chairman, Indian Oil said, “Switchover to BS VI fuel supplies by IOC's marketing and retail network is also in full swing across the country. As per current progress, about 80% of IOC's 121 bulk storage terminals/depots will achieve the conversion from BS IV to BS VI fuels by January 31.

In the markets catered by the country's leading oil marketing company, 100% dispensing of BS VI fuels at petrol/diesel stations is likely to be achieved by the end of February. “IOC is confident of supplying BS VI fuels across India well ahead of the deadline,” Singh added. The company has invested about Rs 17,000 crore for upgrading its facilities to the new emissions standards.

Indian Oil accounts for nearly half of India's petroleum products market share, with sales of about 90 million tonnes in 2018-19.  The company has more than 27,700 fuel stations (petrol pumps) across the length and breadth of the country.

A senior Bharat Petroleum executive had earlier told Autocar Professional that the process of replacing BS IV fuel right from refinery tankers to the retail stations will be underway between October 2019 and January 2020 for BPCL. “So by January, we hope to be ready,” as per the BPCL executive. He added that the process to replace BS IV fuel with BS VI fuel is expected to be much more rigorous than it was during the transition to BS IV. Mukesh Surana, chairman of the ONGC-run Hindustan Petroleum, earlier mentioned that the supply and dilution are expected to start mid-January to meet the deadline well within time. 

OMCs invest over Rs 30,000 crore in BS VI upgrade programme
According to industry insiders, state-owned OMCs have so far invested over Rs 30,000 crore so as to upgrade their refineries for the production of cleaner BS VI fuels.BS VI fuel contains five times fewer sulphur traces and about 70 percent lesser nitrogen oxide for diesel engine and 25 percent in case of petrol engines. The upcoming BS VI emission norms mandate sales and registration of only BS VI-compliant vehicles beginning April 1, 2020. BS VI-grade fuel is currently supplied in the national capital Delhi and adjoining the national capital region.

The automotive industry in July last year, through its apex body, SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers), had called upon the state-run oil marketing companies to provide BS VI-grade fuel at least 30-45 days ahead of the scheduled deadline. Now, the country's leading OMC confirming its preparedness for BS VI fuel delivery, it's over to the OEMs.