China’s Ministry of Environmental Protecting (MEP) officially announced in a statement that the implementation of the China IV emission standard for heavy-duty diesel vehicles was delayed from January 2012 to July 1, 2013. This new implementation date is even later than many market players expected. The MEP stated that the reason for the delay was the lack of a nationwide supply of 350 ppm diesel.
Some regions in China are ahead on nationwide standards and have already implemented higher fuel and emission standards. The Greater Pearl River Delta for instance already supplies 350ppm diesel and will implement China IV standards later this year.
Initially, the government agreed that for the implementation of China IV, diesel containing 350 ppm of sulphur would be sufficient for the first few months. Diesel containing 350 ppm actually corresponds to a lower fuel standard (China III, equivalent to Euro III). Usually, emission standards are implemented with the corresponding fuel standards. The required fuel standard for China IV would technically be China IV diesel containing only 50 ppm of sulphur. It is unlikely however that 50 ppm diesel will be available nationwide before July 2012. Therefore 350 ppm will be marketed instead, once suppliers and the government can agree on financial incentives or price increases to market this type of diesel.