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Sinopec to clean up its gasoline

By  Li Qiaoyi (Global Times)

08:38, February 04, 2013

Sinopec Corp, Asia's largest refiner, announced over the weekend it plans to sell gasoline that meets a higher environmental standard in 2014 amid public concerns over oil quality, one of the factors blamed for China's lingering smoky haze.

But industry observers noted this move would certainly push up gasoline prices, as the refiner's cost burden will increase in upgrading its facilities to produce cleaner oil products.

By the end of this year, upgraded desulfurization facilities will be built and begin operation in Sinopec's 12 subsidiary refineries, and starting from 2014 the refiner will sell oil products meeting National Standard IV for pollutant emissions across the country, Sinopec said in a statement Friday.

The statement came only one day after the refiner's Chairman, Fu Chengyu, said that oil refiners were among those bearing direct responsibility for the haze.

Although Fu has denied the widespread accusation that substandard oil products are directly responsible for the severe air pollution, he was quoted by China National Radio as saying Thursday that the country's low oil standards should be blamed for the smog shrouding big parts of the country.

Instead of enforcing a nationwide standard on sulfur content, the country applies different standards varying by region.

Beijing is currently the only city in China that uses National Standard V, which is equivalent to the Euro V standard for vehicle emissions and caps oil products' sulfur content at below 10 parts per million (ppm), while other developed regions including Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang use National Standard IV of 50 ppm or below.

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