On November 19 last year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had launched the special fuel for Ladakh soon after the region separated from Jammu and Kashmir on October 31 and became a Union Territory.
The launch of this fuel was part of the Rs 50,000 crore investment initiated in the region by the home minister then.
What is winter-grade diesel?
The fuel was specially designed for motorists in high-altitude sectors like Ladakh, Kargil, Kaza, and Keylong. In these regions, motorists face the problem of freezing diesel during the winter season.
Normally, a major component of diesel is paraffin wax, which improves viscosity and lubrication in the fuel. However, with temperature, it melts or thickens, affecting the normal performance of vehicles. IOC had launched this special fuel to address the problem, including additives to diesel, helping it to remain in a fluid situation.
This fuel has a low pour-point of minus 33 degree Celsius, which allows it to retain its fluidity even in extremely cold weather.
To ensure cooking gas supply to the region, IOC runs an LPG-bottling plant in Phey Village of Ladakh, which is 11,800 feet above the sea level.
The plant ensures cooking gas supply to far-flung areas of Ladakh and Kargil, besides serving the Indian security forces. With a capacity of 8,000 tonnes (tmt) per month, it came to limelight as women comprise more than half the staff strength of 20, braving the temperature of minus 30 degree Celsius.