Auto components India - - CONTENTS - Story by: Bhar­gav TS ACI

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Chen­nai Pe­tro­leum Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd. (CPCL), a sub­sidiary of In­dian Oil Cor­po­ra­tion (IOC), has planned a capex of Rs 1,000 crore for the var­i­ous on­go­ing projects such as BS VI prod­uct qual­ity, new crude oil pipe­line project and re-gas­si­fied liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas project. It is also plan­ning to set up a 9 mil­lion-tonne re­fin­ery at Cau­very Basin, Na­ga­p­at­ti­nam, in Tamil Nadu at a cost of Rs 27,400 crore. It is to be noted that to meet the de­mand for cleaner fuel by April 2020, oil mar­ket­ing com­pa­nies (OMCs) have de­cided to has­ten the process of up­grad­ing their re­finer­ies.

San­jiv Singh, Chair­man, In­dian Oil Cor­po­ra­tion (IOC) said, “To meet the Bharat Stage VI (BS VI) emis­sion stan­dard, the process could throw up some chal­lenges, but we are speed­ing up our process by en­hanc­ing our Manali re­fin­ery in Chen­nai and we will start sup­ply­ing BS VI fu­els by Septem­ber 2019.”

S N Pandey, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, CPCL, said ap­proval has been ob­tained for the new projects and prepa­ra­tion of De­tailed Fea­si­bil­ity Re­port is un­der way and is ex­pected to be com­pleted by March 2019. The cost could be plus or mi­nus 30%. CPCL might go to the mar­ket to raise funds for the new re­fin­ery, he added.

On an av­er­age all the re­fin­ers would be investing more than Rs 80,000 crore to up­grade petrol and diesel qual­ity to meet BS VI spec­i­fi­ca­tions by 2020. In­dia has al­ready im­ple­mented BS IV across the coun­try. The ba­sic dif­fer­ence be­tween BS IV and BS VI is in the sul­phur con­tent in the fuel. BS IV and BS VI have far lower sul­phur con­tent than BS III. In diesel, the sul­phur con­tent is pro­gres­sively re­duced from 350 ppm (parts per mil­lion) in BS III to 50 ppm in BS IV and 10 ppm in BS VI. In petrol, the sul­phur spec gets re­duced from 150 ppm to 50 ppm to 10 ppm.

In­dia took 7 years to grad­u­ate from BS III to BS IV. BS V, which was to be im­ple­mented in 2019, was by­passed com­pletely. Implementation of BS VI which had an orig­i­nal dead­line of 2024, was ad­vanced by 4 years keep­ing in mind In­dia’s com­mit­ment at the 2015 Paris Cli­mate Change con­fer­ence on com­bat­ting cli­mate change. As part of the agree­ment, by 2030 In­dia has to re­duce its car­bon foot­print by 33-35% from the 2005 lev­els.

Singh said, “We have dif­fer­ent pro­cesses, where we have 7 or 8 dif­fer­ent streams of diesel. In these streams, there are dif­fer­ent quan­ti­ties of sul­phur—in some it is 10 ppm, in some zero, and in oth­ers it is nearly 500 ppm. We mix them in dif­fer­ent ra­tios and add prop­er­ties to make the fi­nal diesel com­po­nents. So, when we have to make diesel with 50 ppm, or petrol with 10 ppm, all the streams will have to be fur­ther hydro-treated. We have to take out the sul­phur from all the streams. Hydro-treat­ment is an es­tab­lished re­fin­ery process for re­duc­ing sul­phur and ni­tro­gen,” he ex­plained.

Ac­cord­ing to a chem­i­cal ex­pert, for petrol en­gines, one of the most crit­i­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions is the Re­search Oc­tane Num­ber (RON). This has im­proved from 88 in BS II to 91, which is on a par with reg­u­lar 91 oc­tane gaso­line re­quired for Euro 6 emis­sion norms, he says. Other crit­i­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions such as ben­zene and aro­mat­ics have also un­der­gone con­sid­er­able im­prove­ment from ear­lier lim­its spec­i­fied in BS II.

There is a huge de­mand from au­to­mo­bile com­pa­nies for Oc­tane 95 for petrol. But Euro 6 spec­i­fi­ca­tions call for re­ten­tion of Oc­tane 91 or Oc­tane 96. OEMs pre­fer Oc­tane 95 to 91 be­cause it al­lows en­gines to give more power. “Putting Oc­tane 95 in cars run­ning on Oc­tane 91 en­gines brings no ben­e­fits.” This is just one in­stance of the push­backs from auto and the oil in­dus­tries that will be rife in 2019, an en­gine de­vel­oper said.

For the quar­ter ended March 2018, CPCL re­ported a net profit of Rs 1.78 bil­lion against Rs 1.71 bil­lion in the pre­vi­ous quar­ter. The im­prove­ment in the profit was due to bet­ter phys­i­cal per­for­mance and favourable prod­uct racks re­sult­ing in in­crease in gross refining mar­gin to $6.42 a bar­rel from $6.05.

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