New Delhi: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressing on cutting down the fuel import bill; the Indian Air Force will start experimenting with the use of ethanol-blended aviation fuel on its Antonov-32 transport aircraft soon.

“We have to cut down on the usage of ATF by around 10% but flying of planes can’t be curtailed. That is why, we are planning to experiment using the ethanol-blended ATF on our An-32 planes which can later be used on other aircraft as well,” Air Force sources told MyNation. 

The sources said if the experiment is successful, it will help in maintaining the present level of operational flying at a lower cost and result in huge savings for the service.  

Sources in the Air Force said the plan to use ethanol for saving fuel had also come up for mention at the Combined Commanders’ Conference headed by the Prime Minister in Jodhpur last week. 

Stressing on the importance of cutting down fuel imports, Prime Minister Modi has recently said that the government expects to make foreign exchange savings of up to Rs12,000 crore every year after four years through the ethanol blending programme alone. 

PM Modi has said, “The country has set course to produce nearly 450 crore litres of ethanol in the coming four years. Ethanol blending in petrol increased from 38 crore litres in the ethanol supply year 2013-14, to an estimated 141 crore litres in 2017-18. The government also approved the National Policy on Biofuels in June”.