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Current Affairs

Winter diesel

Date: 06 July 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous


India’s armed forces may soon be using winter diesel for operations in high altitude areas such as Ladakh, where winter temperatures plummet to extremely low levels.



Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has sought approval from the Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) of the armed forces to approve winter diesel that is said to be usable at temperatures as low as -30° celsius.



  • Winter diesel is a specialised fuel that was introduced by IOCL last year specifically for high altitude regions and low-temperature regions such as Ladakh, where ordinary diesel can become unusable.

  • The flow characteristics of regular diesel change at such low temperatures and using it may be detrimental to vehicles. Winter diesel which contains additives to maintain lower viscosity can be used in temperatures as low as -30°C.

  • Besides a low pour point, it had a higher cetane rating, an indicator of combustion speed of diesel and compression needed for ignition— and lower sulphur content, which would lead to lower deposits in engines and better performance.

  • Before the launch of winter diesel, consumers in areas that reached such low temperatures were using kerosene to dilute diesel to make it usable, which would lead to more air pollution.

  • IOC may begin supplying winter diesel to the armed forces once its use is approved by the Controllerate of Quality Assurance for petroleum products under the Directorate General for Quality Assurance of the armed forces.

  • While experts expect that demand may rise given the border tensions, the demand for DHPP-W from the armed forces has not increased significantly since the clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers in the Galwan valley in Ladakh.