TAMIL NADU

BPCL launches Speed-93 brand

CHENNAI OCT. 22. Consumer research shows that vehicle owners are not averse to paying more for a fuel which enhances their driving experience, a senior official of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited said, at the launch of the company's `Speed-93' brand petrol in Chennai today.

The research, according to S. Varadarajan, general manager-retail (South), indicated that premium customers are busy and active and seek a fuel, which protects their vehicle, ensures its best performance and gives a trouble-free driving experience. The need for such fuel had enhanced in view of the automobile industry manufacturing and marketing more high-end cars.

Speed-93, priced at Rs. 37.90 a litre (a litre of regular unleaded petrol in Chennai costs Rs. 34.63, while the additive-mixed branded fuel is Rs. 35.94), is a blend of petrol with 93 Octane and ``world-class multi-functional additives'' complying with the Environment Protection Agency 97 requirements.

The fuel, promising inter-alia protection of the engine from knocking, improved mileage and reduced emissions, would be initially available at nine select Pure for Sure Outlets of the BPCL in the city. Chennai is the third city in the country after Mumbai and Delhi where Speed-93, which was essentially for vehicles designed for higher Octane content petrol, was being launched.

Launching Speed-93, the Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, M.S. Srinivasan, said the fuel dispensed in the country was on a par in terms of specifications with those sold in most other nations. The oil industry had invested Rs. 10,000 crores in the last four years to improve the specifications conforming to the Euro-II norms. Further, it proposed to invest Rs. 30,000 crores to meet the subsequent standards — ``by 2005, all the metros would receive automobile fuel meeting the Euro-III specifications and by 2011 the country would concurrently get fuel matching the then prevalent Euro norm''.

The executive director-retail, BPCL, S. Krishnamurthi, said the company, which provided secondary employment to around 60,000 people, proposed to build the competencies of the staffers at its retail outlets. The Chennai territory manager-retail, V. Nagarajan, said Speed-93 was the latest offering from a company which believed in expanding the range of value-added services.

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