OMCs and auto industry join hands to accelerate BS VI preparedness

by Shahkar Abidi & Sumana Sarkar 29 Feb 2020

India Auto Inc has got a fix on BS VI. With just a month to go before the stringent new BS VI emission norns come into play, leading oil marketing companies (OMCs) and the automobile industry have joined forces to ensure a state of readiness for the ugraded norms. 

The Federation of Indian Petroleum Industries (FIPI) and the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) recently met up to assess the level of preparedness, exchange information on progress being made and understand any specific requirements to achieve the national objective of BS VI migration with least disruption.

Last month, the country’s top fuel retailer, Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) claimed that more than 15,000 fuel retail centres out of its total 27,000 in the country, are ready to dispense BS VI fuel at nozzle level. That works out to 55 percent of the fuel stations; the remaining ones are expected to be ready by early to mid-March.

According to Sanjiv Singh, chairman, FIPI and chairman, Indian Oil Corporation, "WE are happy to state that the oil refineries across the country are already supplying BS VI fuel. Most of the fuel at the retail outlet nozzle is also BS VI, as the supply chain is totally being flushed out of BS IV fuel."

Sanjiv Singh reassured the auto industry that the OMCs are committed to supply BS VI fuel April onwards. The total investment from the public sector refineries alone for this conversion to BS VI is to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore. In addition, private sector refineries have also made appropriate investments for supply of BS VI fuel.

Welcoming the statement, Rajan Wadhera, president, SIAM, said, “We are delighted to learn that oil refineries across the country are already supplying BS VI fuel both for petrol and diesel vehicles. The automotive manufacturers have invested about Rs 70,000 crore for developing their BS VI product portfolio and any concerns of changeover plans by the auto industry from BS IV to BS VI have been put to rest. Now with the confirmation from the oil industry, any apprehensions of consumers on non-availability of BS VI fuel for their BS VI vehicles are also taken care of.”

Meanwhile, Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), which has over 15,400 fuel stations in the country, claims to be BS VI-ready at nozzle level beginning March 1, 2020. The company is in the process of wrapping up the the final leg of preparation ahead of the April 1 deadline, when the new fuel emission norms kick in. While commenting on the level of preparedness, R Ramachandran, Director (Refinery) BPCL said, "We are through with what we had to."

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL), the other major OMC, says its refineries have been upgraded to make BS VI petrol and diesel to meet the BS VI implementation schedule. HPCL’s Visakh Refinery Modernisation Project (VRMP) and Mumbai Refinery Expansion Project (MREP) – which are in advanced stages of completion for the BS VI programme.

Clearly, good news for the industry and motorists at large who will be keen to tank up with the right fuel for their BS VI-compliant vehicles.