Thailand brings forward Euro 5 for diesel

The Thai government has said it will bring forward its planned introduction of Euro 5 standards for diesel fuel to 2023 from its previous deadline of 2025 in response to recent concerns over air pollution in the country.

The Energy Ministry's decision raise the standard of diesel fuel sooner, from Euro 4 currently, follows discussion with six oil refiners in the country in recent weeks. They agreed that 2023 was the earliest practical time they could lift their fuel quality to the required standards.

The government has come under pressure in recent weeks to improve air quality following sharp spikes in air pollution in many parts of the country, which local reports have described as "toxic dust".

Analysts say the introduction of Euro 5 will cost up to THB14bn (US$438m) in upgrades per oil refinery, which will likely lead to higher fuel prices. The new standard will not apply to benzene fuels.

The announcement follows recent government efforts to promote the use of B20 bio-diesel fuel in diesel-powered trucks and buses.

Local automakers such as Isuzu have pointed out that the Thai auto components supply chain is currently set up for Euro 4 and that additional costs will be incurred to switch to Euro 5 technology.

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