New Delhi: In the backdrop of an acute shortage of Oxygen for COVID-19 patients, the government has summoned its oil PSUs into service and has asked them to set up medical oxygen plants in hospitals across 93 locations in India. According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, "Oil PSUs are in the process of setting up Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Medical Oxygen Generation Plants at 93 locations across the country to facilitate captive Oxygen generation facilities at hospitals to strengthen availability and supply of medical-grade oxygen."
The list of PSUs who have been pressed into service includes Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), Numaligarh Refinery Ltd, Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL), Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), Petronet LNG Ltd, GAIL (India) Ltd, Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), Engineers India Ltd (EIL), Oil India Ltd (OIL) and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).
The largest number of Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) oxygen generation plants are coming up in Karnataka — 28 — followed by Uttar Pradesh (UP) at 12. Oil PSUs are setting up 11 plants in Madhya Pradesh (MP), nine in Bihar, eight in Gujarat, seven in Kerala, Rajasthan and Odisha each, and four in Maharashtra.
"Indian Oil has been tasked with removing bottlenecks in the logistics, transport & supply of medical oxygen. IOCL is procuring ISO cryogenic containers for transport of LMO. 9 tankers have been contracted, software & app to manage the movement is under progress for roll-out," said the ministry.
The news comes as the country faces a severe crisis in the availability of Oxygen for the treatment of COVID-19 patients whose Oxygen level has plummeted. Over the past few days, several patients in Maharashtra and Delhi have died due to a shortage of oxygen. In order to address the crisis, the government has waived off customs duty on import of Oxygen and Oxygen equipment for three months. It has also directed all ports to waive off charges on cargo carrying oxygen for a period of three months.
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