Unlike 2005, when the country’s private refiners were late in producing Euro-III compliant fuel, this time the private sector has taken a lead, with Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) becoming the first Indian refinery to produce Euro-IV compliant diesel.
The first cargo of 25,000 tonnes of Euro-IV grade diesel from RIL’s refinery at Jamnagar was shipped by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) on Friday, said an informed source. This is also the first coastal supply of Euro-IV diesel for the Indian market.
Sources said RIL was also gearing up to produce the higher grade of petrol. With the private refiner now ready to produce the higher grade, it will be easier for oil marketing companies to ensure the availability of Euro-IV diesel at the retail outlets of all 13 major cities of India by April 1, the target date.
An RIL spokesperson confirmed the sale of diesel. He did not give details on total production, citing trade confidentiality reasons.
Indian Oil Corporation, the biggest oil marketeer, and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd have recently floated tenders to import 120,000 tonnes and 60,000 tonnes of Euro-IV diesel, respectively.
Government policy calls for petrol and diesel meeting Euro-IV standards are to be supplied in 13 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, from April 1. Euro-III grade fuel is to be supplied across the rest of the country from the same day. The former deadline will be met. Sales of Euor-III will begin in a phased manner between April 1 and October 1.