BEIJING (Reuters) - Diesel used outside the automotive sector will have meet the "National V" fuel quality standards by January 2018, a year later than automotive fuels, China's powerful central planning authority said on Thursday, as the government continues to battle rampant smog.
China earlier moved up implementation of the new quality standards for automotive fuels to the beginning of 2017, excluding so-called "general" diesel used in agriculture and industry.
Starting next year, China will expand the areas receiving automotive gasoline and diesel that meet the standards to 11 eastern provinces and cities, before rolling them out nationwide in 2017.
In 2018, the Chinese market will need a supply of 52 million tonnes, or 388 million barrels, of "general diesel", the central planning authority, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said.
"Building on basis of upgrading automotive gasoline and diesel can speed up the refitting of main refineries in order to upgrade general diesel ... and safeguard the domestic market supply of automotive and general diesel," the NDRC said.
The fuel standards are similar to quality specifications of Euro V, which has a maximum sulphur content of 10 parts per million (ppm).
(Reporting By Adam Rose and Judy Hua, editing by David Evans)