The process of rinsing dealer storage tanks, pipelines and depots started around January, say executives at oil majors.
State-run oil marketing companies are fully equipped to provide BS-IV-compliant fuel at their 53,500 retial fuel stations in the country, starting April 1. According to OMC executives, the process of rinsing dealer storage tanks, pipelines and depots started around January, and BS-IV-complaint fuel is now available across the country.
A formal launch of transition to BS IV will be held by the petroleum ministry in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
Among them, IOC, BPCL and HPCL have all their 12-million-tonne capacity storage facilities fully BS-IV-ready. Also, these firms have already got their 6.79 lakh tonne pipeline capacity and 8.56 lakh tonne retail-outlet tanks cleansed for the upgraded fuel.
Importantly, retail consumers of fuel will not have to fork out higher prices for fuel. “They will continue to pay the same price for the higher grade products—diesel and petrol,” an OMC source said.
According to R Ramachandran, director-refineries at Bharat Petroleum, the flushing out of BS-III-grade fuel was started by the company in January and by the start of March, starting from depots to retail outlets, BS-IV-grade oil has been made available.
“We set up investment at the refineries and only pumping the new product in the system was required. We have been 100% BS-IV-compliant for the last 25 days,” he said, adding negligible investment was required for upgrading pipelines.
Hindustan Petroleum, too became 100% BS-IV-compliant on March 7. “Around 15 days back, our last depot got rinsed for both diesel and petrol,” said an HPCL executive, requesting anonymity.
According to the executive, the process of rinsing and replacing lower grade fuel with higher grade one were started three months ago to ensure that retailers with low sales also start selling BS-IV-level oil.
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According to Ajay Bansal, president of All IndiaPetroleum Dealers Association, all retail outlets across the country are now getting BS-IV fuel.
“Though we do not have any mechanism to check the standard and it is done by companies and other agencies, dealers have been getting invoice for BS-IV fuel for quite some time now,” said Bansal, adding the transition happened in phases.