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New Delhi — India will introduce Euro VI grade gasoline and diesel, known as BS VI in India, in the capital Delhi from April in an effort to battle growing pollution, oil ministry officials said Wednesday.

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"We will introduce BS VI in Delhi from April 1," IOC Chairman Sanjiv Singh said after a board meeting on January 31.

The introduction of low-emission fuels in and around Delhi from the start of the new fiscal year running from April-March, would effectively be two years ahead of the target that was initially set for the countrywide launch of Euro VI grade fuels.

Earlier this week, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in parliament that the government had decided to advance the introduction of BS VI-compliant fuels in the capital by two years.

The government has decided to implement BS VI for all kinds of vehicles across the country from April 2020, Pradhan said in reply to a query.

Pradhan said that the decision to introduce the superior version of emission control was taken because the level of pollution in Delhi was so serious.

The fuels will be sourced from the Mathura refinery, which has been upgraded and expanded to produce BS VI-compliant grades.

Last month, IOC commissioned an Octamax unit at its Mathura refinery to streamline its production of BS VI fuels. The unit uses in-house technology to convert C-4 streams from the catalytic cracker and steam cracker into high-octane gasoline helping to achieve stringent global fuel quality norms.

The blending octane number of the sample drawn from the newly commissioned unit was seen to be 118, higher than the guaranteed 108, while meeting all other defined product properties, IOC said in a statement.

India's oil demand grew at a modest rate of 2% to 4.32 million mt/d in 2017 with gasoline consumption rising 5.5% and diesel by 2.3%.

-- Staff, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by E Shailaja Nair, newsdesk@spglobal.com