In a big step towards reducing dependence on imports to meet energy needs the government-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has launched indigenous production of AVGAS 100 LL, a special aviation fuel meant for piston engine aircrafts and unmanned ariel vehicles.
"We are undergoing a remarkable transformation which is almost revolutionary. We are reducing dependence on imported fuels by promoting biofuel blending, green hydrogen and introduction of electric vehicles," said Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Housing and Urban Affairs, while addressing the event to launch AVGAS 100 LL.
The launch event hosted by Indian Oil Corporation at Hindan Air Force Station witnessed participation by senior officials from the Indian Air Force, Flying Training Organisations and the ministries of petroleum and civil aviation.
At present AVGAS 100 LL is completely imported product. The domestic production of AVGAS 100 LL produced by Indian Oil at its Gujarat Refinery will make flying training more affordable in India. This product which fuels the aircraft operated by FTOs and Defense forces is being imported for decades by India.
Indian Oil's R&D, Refineries and Marketing teams have achieved this feat of indigenous production and have offered price advantage to the industry, according to an official statement released by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
Talking to ANI SM Vaidya, Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL), said the indigenous production of AVGAS 100 LL will lead to significant savings in foreign exchange for the country.
Vaidya expressed hope that India would soon become self-reliant in AVGAS 100 LL production. India's consumption of AVGAS 100 LL stands at around 3,000 kilo litre per year. IOCL has been importing this special aviation fuel. Now it will start producing it at its refinery in Gujarat.
Vaidya said with the new refinery capacity India would not only become self-reliant in AVGAS 100 LL but also be in a position to export it to other countries.
Highlighting the importance of launch of indigenous AV GAS 100 LL, the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri said the launch of indigenous AV GAS 100 LL is important to serve the needs of a thriving aviation industry with increase in footfall on airports, rise in number of aircrafts and Flying Training Organisations (FTOs) in trainee aircrafts for pilot training in future.
As the demand for air transport in India is expected to increase manifolds in the future, there is going to be a huge demand for trained pilots also. And for this, the number of FTOs is also expected to increase significantly, he added.
Under Prime Minister's Atmanirbhar Bharat vision IOCL has come up with AV Gas 100 fuel which was imported so far at huge cost. It will ensure that all our flight schools and all other smaller aircrafts that use AV Gas 100 LL are able to buy this from indigenous sources and save money. It will make huge difference to us in terms of exporting it to areas and countries which need AV Gas 100 LL fuel, said Gen V K Singh (Retd.), Minister of State for Civil Aviation, and Road Transport and Highways.
Principal grade of Aviation Gasoline, AVGAS 100 LL is designed for use in turbo-charged reciprocating piston engines aircrafts, mainly used by FTOs and defence forces for training pilots.
AV GAS 100 LL produced by IndianOil's flagship refinery at Vadodara has been tested and certified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the statutory body of the Government of India to regulate civil aviation in India. It is a higher-octane Aviation fuel meeting the product specifications with superior performance quality standards, as compared to imported grades.
The indigenous availability of AV GAS 100 LL will help reduce dependence on imports and address the associated logistical challenges. The country will be able to save precious foreign exchange with the in-house availability of this product.
This will also benefit more than 35 FTOs across India. With the domestic availability of this product, Ministry of Civil Aviation is considering opening more training institutes in the country. Seeing the increase in aviation traffic, the requirement of trained Pilots is expected to increase, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas said in the statement.
(With inputs from ANI)