Source: Xinhua | 2013-2-7 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
CHINA yesterday issued a timetable for its program to upgrade fuel quality, aiming to implement a strict standard nationwide by 2017 in its latest bid to cut pollution.
The country will issue the standard V for automobile petrol, with sulphur content within 10 ppm (parts per million), before the end of the year. There will be a grace period until late 2017, according to an executive meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao.
Beijing is the only city in China to have adopted such a standard, which is equal to the Euro V vehicle emissions cap on sulphur content below 10 ppm.
When the grace period ends in 2017, it means the standard will be put into practice nationwide.
But the "5th-phase" standard for automobile diesel, with sulphur content within 10 ppm, will come earlier, likely before June this year, the statement said, with the same amount of grace period.
The "4th-phase" standard for petrol, which caps sulphur content to no more than 50 ppm, has already been issued.
Based on this, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine and the Standardization Administration will soon issue the "4th-phase" standard for diesel with sulphur content within 50 ppm. The transitional time will expire at the end of 2014.
"The timetable shows that China is pushing faster to upgrade gas quality," said Wang Zhen, deputy head of the China University of Petroleum's China Energy Strategy Research Institute.
Domestic oil refiners should upgrade their equipment to ensure that they can provide qualified products following the timetables, the statement said, adding that more efforts should be made to step up research on automobile engines.
"Grace periods to implement the 4th-phase and the 5th-phase standards help buffer pressure for refiners and auto engine producers to upgrade their equipment," said Guo Haitao, assistant director of the China Energy Strategy Research Institute.
The Sinopec Corp said last week it was upgrading desulphurization facilities and will supply cleaner oil products that meet national standards for pollutant emissions in 2014.
Gas prices should be fixed properly based on principles of "compensation for costs," "high prices for high quality" and "polluters pay," and subsidies should be given to disadvantaged people and non-profit organizations, the release said.
"The statement shows that the gas price hikes will be shared by the government, enterprises and consumers together," according to Gao Shixian, a researcher with the Energy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission.
"Environmental protection is a public issue and it is reasonable for the government to provide certain compensation so that nobody shoulders the pressure alone," Wang said.