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Thailand switches to Euro IV standard for gasoil, gasoline

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Thailand switches to Euro IV standard for gasoil, gasoline

Bangkok (Platts)--2Jan2012/1132 pm EST/432 GMT

Thailand on January 1 became the first country in Southeast Asia to move to Euro IV fuel standards -- a move that is expected to cut the country's sulfur dioxide emissions by 12,000 mt/year and benzene emissions by 181,000 mt/year, officials at the Ministry of Energy said Sunday.

The higher quality gasoil is expected to begin flowing into the distribution chains within nine weeks from January 1 and gasoline within 15 weeks, officials said.

Euro IV standards allow for a maximum sulfur content of 50 ppm in gasoline and gasoil and limit the benzene content in gasoline to 1%.

Thailand's refiners have spent a combined Baht 50-60 billion ($ 1.6 billion-1.9 billion) on upgrading their plants to produce Euro-IV compliant fuels, officials said. The country's six refineries have a total crude processing capacity of 1.2 million b/d.

Currently, all but one refinery in the kingdom is producing the higher quality fuel.

Only Star Petroleum Refining Company has missed the January 1 deadline. Some, such as ThaiOil, began Euro IV-compliant production of gasoil and gasoline as far back as October 2011.

SPRC has been given a 30-day reprieve from January 1 to comply with the new standard, instead of the 65 days it had requested, according to a December 28 ruling by the Energy Policy Administration Committee chaired by Energy Minister Pichai Naripthaphan, ministry officials said.

But the delay only affects its gasoline production as SPRC, which is 64% owned by Chevron and 36% by state-owned PTT, has been producing Euro IV-standard gasoil at its 160,000 b/d facility in Rayong since October 2011.

SPRC's lag was due to a Thai court injunction in late 2009 which led to the suspension of 76 industrial projects in the eastern seaboard province of Rayong for an investigation and affecting the company's Euro IV upgrade plans, ministry officials said.

Industry analysts said that SPRC was likely to buy Euro IV grade gasoline from other refiners in Thailand while it is unable to meet the new specification.

http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Oil/7952849

Would be interesting to see more on this in the local press.

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So how much will this decrease pollution? Methinks that it is less than 1%, having in mind all the uncontrolled burning of whatever (well, less than in Kosovo, where they endulge in burning old tyres and mothers-in-law). And the fuel only does not make the point - it also needs the engines being prepared for it. And if I look at all the trucks going around in Thailand, I doubt that any fuel standard will help...

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