Ben Eguzozie, with wire report
- All vehicles sulphur emissions to run 10ppmwt
- South Asian country joins Euro-VI fuel specifications
- Move provides lesson to Nigeria with incoming PIB
- Axens is BUA’s partner for its Euro-VI-compliant RPA in Akwa Ibom
India, South Asian economic giant and the world’s most populous democracy, has taken a leap into the clean fuel technology by reducing the sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions released from vehicles nationwide, and so complies with the more stringent specifications for transportation fuel standards.
The Indian government undertook an unprecedented decision by leapfrogging from the Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) vehicle emission standards to the new globally acceptable BS-VI national motor vehicle emission standards.
The BS-VI fuel specifications are equivalent to Euro-VI specifications. It aims at reducing the sulphur content in gasoline to 10 ppmwt (weight part per million) from the current BS-IV’s 50 ppmwt nationwide by 2020.
As part of the objective to produce higher-quality BS-VI gasoline, the Indian government engaged the Axens’ Prime-G+ technology, which is the world’s leading technology for fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) gasoline selective hydro-desulfurization for India’s public sector refineries. Axens offered tailor-made and cost-effective solutions for existing or grassroots units for 14 different sites.
Axens of France is a leader in cracked gasoline selective hydro-desulfurization technology, the Prime-G+. The Paris, France based clean energy company has more than 300 commercial references for its Prime G+ technology feat.
The FCC gasoline is a major contributor to the gasoline production, while Prime-G+ is a key unit to ensure the production of ultra-low Sulphur gasoline (ULSG) complying with the most stringent environmental regulations.
Fluid catalytic cracking is one of the most important conversion processes used in petroleum refineries. It is widely used to convert the high-boiling, high-molecular weight hydrocarbon fractions of petroleum crude oils into more valuable gasoline, olefinic gases, and other products.
Corrine Garriga, head of Axens group communications in a statement to Business A.M. said, these Prime-G+ projects, for a 250,000 BPSD (barrels per stream day) cumulated capacity, carried out in fast-track mode, represent 100 per cent awards in FCC gasoline hydro-treatment of the Indian public-sector refineries.
“Axens is delighted to contribute to the successful accomplishment of this major step producing BS-VI-compliant fuels, and thus improving air quality in India,” Garriga said.
Recall that Axens is the technical partner for BUA Group’s forthcoming 10 million tonnes mega refinery and petrochemicals plant in Akwa Ibom State. The plant, expected about 2024, is to produce Euro-VI compliant fuels.
Friday Udoh, a petroleum industry analyst and gas value-chain expert, said the move by India to upgrade its public sector refineries to the BS-VI standard or Euro-VI specifications using the Prime G+ technology provides a big lesson for Nigeria on the adoption of clean energy solution.
He advised the country, whose four publicly-owned refineries (with 445,000 nameplate capacities) have been touted for rehabilitation by the Muhammadu Buhari administration, to go along with global trend on gasoline production.
At the same time, the federal government is reworking its oil industry legislation, to come up with a new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). Some industry watchers in the Niger Delta region advocate for the planned petroleum industry management law to have a clause/specification for refineries to adopt FCC gasoline selective hydro-desulfurization.