Use of Winter Diesel in Ladakh

  Jul 22, 2020

Use of Winter Diesel in Ladakh

Q.What is Winter Diesel ?

A. It is a specialised fuel specifically for high altitude regions and low-temperature regions such as Ladakh, where ordinary diesel can become unusable. The winter diesel was introduced as a technological solution by the Indian Oil Corporation an oil PSU of GOI in 2019 in high-altitude sectors like Ladakh, Kargil, Kaza and Keylong, which face the problem of freezing of diesel in their vehicles in extreme weather conditions.

Q. Why is Winter Diesel in News?

A. Recently, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has sought approval from the Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) for the use of winter diesel by armed forces for operations in high altitude areas such as Ladakh.

Q. Does it meets BIS specifications?

A. Yes, It meets the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) specification of BS-VI grade.

Q. What are few characteristics of Winter Diesel?


  1. Low Viscosity: It contains additives to maintain lower viscosity by enabling the fuel to remain fluid in such conditions. Regular diesel fuel contains paraffin wax which is added for improving viscosity and lubrication. At low temperatures, the paraffin wax thickens or “gels” and hinders the flow of the fuel in the car engine.
  2. Low Pour Point: It has a low pour point (as low as minus 30-degree Celsius). It is the temperature below which the liquid loses its flow characteristics.
  3. Higher Cetane Rating: It has a higher cetane rating — which is an indicator of the combustion speed of diesel and compression needed for ignition.
  4. Lower Sulphur Content: It would lead to lower chemical deposits in engines and better performance.

Q. What are its significance?


  1. Curb in Air Pollution: Before the launch of winter diesel, consumers in such areas were using kerosene to dilute diesel to make it usable, which leads to more air pollution.
  2. Border Tensions with China in Ladakh: It is expected that demand for the winter fuel may rise due to the border tensions in the Galwan valley in Ladakh for the patrolling purposes.
  3. Ease in using at quite low temperatures.
  4. Boost to Local Economy: Supply of the special fuel to Ladakh would reduce the hardships faced by the local people for transportation and mobility during winter months, therefore facilitate the local economy and tourism.
  5. Now use of winter diesel would replace use of Kerosene therefore helping in the reduction of air pollution.

Q. What is Directorate General Quality Assurance?

A. The Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) is under the Department Of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence.

The organisation provides Quality Assurance (QA) cover for the entire range of Arms, Ammunitions, Equipments and Stores supplied to Armed Forces.