Winter diesel to power Indian Army’s vehicles in Ladakh soon

By: |
July 6, 2020 5:42 PM

Indian Oil Corporation has sought permission from the Directorate General of Quality Assurance of the armed forces to allow the Indian Army to use winter diesel in cold areas like Ladakh.

Winter diesel fuel for Army vehiclesWinter diesel which contains additives to maintain lower viscosity can be used in temperatures as low as -30°C. (Photo: The Indian Express)

Often Indian Armed forces posted on the high altitude and in severely low-temperature areas face difficulties in driving their vehicles. Along with the difficult and tricky terrains of snow-clad mountains, change in fuel flow (consistency) sometimes can be the culprit for motor vehicles not working in crucial times.

However, soldiers posted in these areas need not worry about fuel consistency anymore. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the largest oil marketing company in the country, has sought permission from the Directorate General of Quality Assurance of the armed forces to allow them to use winter diesel; it usable at temperatures as low as -30° celsius.

The state-owned firm introduced winter diesel, a specialised fuel, last year, especially for high altitude regions and low-temperature regions such as Ladakh; in these areas, ordinary diesel can become unusable.

The flow of regular diesel changes in low temperatures and using it may be detrimental to vehicles, said SV Ramakumar, director of research and development at IOC, as reported by The Indian Express. Winter diesel which contains additives to maintain lower viscosity can be used in temperatures as low as -30°C, he added.

Besides a low pour point, winter diesel has a higher cetane rating—an indicator is the combustion speed of diesel and compression needed for ignition— and lower sulphur content, which would lead to lower deposits in engines and better performance, The Indian Express reported Ramakumar as saying.

Ramakumar informed that before the launch of winter diesel, people in these areas (high altitude and low temperature) were using kerosene to dilute diesel to make it usable.

Till now, the Indian Army is using Diesel High sulphur Pour Point (DHPP -W) for operations at places with a pour point of -30°C, like Ladakh. IOCL and other oil marketing companies like Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation are supplying DHPP -W to Armed Forces.

If approved by the Controllerate of Quality Assurance for petroleum products under the Directorate General of Quality Assurance of the armed forces, IOC may soon begin supplying winter diesel to the Armed Forces.

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