Indian Oil Companies Need Huge Investments to Produce Euro VI Fuel: Nitin Gadkari

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Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday that Indian oil companies need to invest ₹ 30,000 crore ($4.5 billion) to produce Euro VI-complaint fuel by 2020. Gadkari said this after a decision was taken to advance the date for country-wide implementation of Euro VI-compliant fuels by 4 years to April 1, 2020, in an effort to curb pollution.

Initially, the plan was to roll out Euro V-compliant fuels by 2020 and Euro VI by 2024. However, the Euro VI plan has been brought forward due to rise in pollution in India.

Pollution levels in Indian cities have often been compared to China's Beijing. A WHO study in 2014 said capital city Delhi had the worst air quality out of the 1,600 cities surveyed worldwide.

The Indian government has taken up a quite a few measures to tackle this like subsidising electric vehicles and bio-fuels. Delhi has been at the forefront in the fight against pollution with the implementation of the diesel car ban for vehicles with engines above 2,000cc, the odd-even rule for car registration/number plates, restrictions on trucks and commercial vehicles, conversion of all taxis to CNG, etc.

The government has been pushing for the 2020 deadline for Euro VI implementation for a while now by leapfrogging the Euro V plan but has faced resistance from oil companies since the costs involved are very high.

But now the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has assured supply of Euro VI fuel across India by April 1, 2020. The Ministry has withdrawn an earlier draft which had suggested shifting to Euro VI after switch to Euro V.

At present, Euro IV auto fuels are being supplied in whole of north India which covers Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, parts of Rajasthan and western UP. The rest of the country is supplied with Euro III grade fuel.

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