India: The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MEF) is considering exempting cement plants and power companies from a ban on using petcoke and furnace oil for industrial use in Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Additional solicitor general A Nadkarni informed the Supreme Court that the use of petcoke in the cement industry was ‘minuscule,’ for non-fuel purposes and that it is used for de-sulphuring, according to the Hindustan Times. However, the exemption, if granted, will only be allowed for one year to allow cement companies to switch to alternative fuels.
The Central Pollution Control Board and the MEF issued the ban following a directive from the Supreme Court in late October 2017 prohibiting industries in the three neighbouring states of Delhi from using the polluting fuels. Use of petcoke and furnace oil is already banned in the capital region. The ban was imposed following high pollution levels in Delhi.