Kochi: Most of the fuel pumps in Kerala have begun dispensing BS-VI grade fuel. Even before April 1, the pumps have been equipped to supply only low-emission BS-VI grade petrol and diesel.
Before making the switch to more eco-friendly fuel, the oil companies had collected the samples and conducted tests. All pumps cleared the tests.
The oil companies started supplying BS-VI fuel to the petrol pumps in the state about 1.5 months ago on a trial basis. After three or four loads, samples were collected to test whether the fuel had traces of BS-IV. It was found that the traces of BS-IV have almost been removed from the fuel bunks.
V C Ashokan, Indian Oil Corporation Kerala state chief and general manager, said that the IOC outlets in the state have been supplying only BS-VI fuel for the past one week.
"We have completely switched over to BS-VI. The outlets in Kerala starting supplying BS-VI fuel from February 1. We had collected samples from the 910 outlets in Kerala. The lab results have confirmed that the outlets have been complying to the BS-VI standard," he added.
The country was able to make the switch from Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) standard fuel to BS-VI fuel within just three years. Starting from April 1, only BS-VI fuel would be available at the petrol pumps across the country. The fuel would cause only half the levels of current pollution generated by vehicles.
The refineries in the country have been producing petrol and diesel with low levels of sulphur from the end of last year to meet the April 1 deadline.
The oil companies also made several arrangements to the pipelines and storage centres to ensure the availability of only BS-VI fuel. The refineries spent Rs 35,000 crore for this.
Low sulphur content
The country adopted the BS-III standard in 2010. Then the level of sulphur in the fuel was 350 parts per million (ppm), ie, 350 milligram of sulphur in one litre. When the country switched to BS-IV in 2017, the level of sulphur was at 50ppm. And the level of sulphur is only at 10ppm for BS-VI fuel.
Toxic substances in the vehicle emissions is primarily caused by the burning of sulphur. The level of nitrogen oxide in the BS-VI petrol vehicles would be 25 per cent less than BS-IV vehicles. And diesel vehicles would see a much higher drop of 70 per cent from the current rate.
No price hike
The oil companies had to shell out huge amounts of money to upgrade to the BS-VI standard fuel with ultra-low sulphur content. Thus, the oil companies had made it clear that they would increase the fuel price from April. However, the companies can now adjust this expense against the low price of oil in the international market. And there will not be any increase in the fuel price over BS-VI standard.