New Delhi: Steel plants, across the country, belonging to the public as well as the private sectors, have been regularly supplying the life-saving liquid medical Oxygen (LMO) to the hospitals across the country. According to a press release from the Ministry of Steel, Steel plants, across the country, belonging to the public sector as well as the private sectors are regularly supplying over 40,000 MT of liquid medical Oxygen on daily basis for hospital needs.
Along with the petroleum sector, they have been contributing a major share of the LMO requirement of the country which stands at about 10,000 MT/day. Steel plants have ramped up LMO supplies from 538 MT per day as on April 1, to over 4,000 MT per day. On May 17, they supplied 4,435 MT LMO, going up from 4,314 MT on May 16. This included 1,485 MT from SAIL, 158 MT from RINL, 1,154 MT from TATA Steel, 238 MT from AMNS, 1,162 MT from JSW, and rest from other steel plants. Steel plants have ramped up daily production capacities, including diverting liquid nitrogen and argon production capacity towards the production of additional quantities of LMO. They also reduced the usage of gaseous oxygen to increase the production of LMO.
From the petroleum sector, approximately 1,150 MT per day LMO is being supplied by RIL, Jamnagar Refinery, IOCL Panipat Refinery, and BPCL Kochi and Bina Refineries.
Steel plants and oil refineries are doing everything possible to save lives and better prepare for emerging health challenges. To strengthen the critical care and emergency health care infrastructure, petroleum and steel sector companies are facilitating 12,000 oxygenated beds at temporary jumbo COVID care centres across the country on a war footing. The steel sector is in the process of establishing 8,500 oxygenated beds across the country, which will use gaseous Oxygen produced in their plants, overcoming the difficulty of transporting LMO over the long distances. Petroleum sector facilities of such hospitals are being set up at BPCL Bina Refinery, IOC Panipat Refinery, BPCL Kochi Refinery, HMEL Bathinda Refinery, and CPCL Chennai Refinery. Recently, COVID care centres near the Kochi and Panipat Refineries, and the steel Plant at Hissar, have become operational.
To help the country tide over Oxygen shortage during the second wave of COVID-19, ONGC has been given the responsibility to procure one lakh oxygen concentrators. The delivery process is expected to begin this week itself, with the whole consignment reaching by next month-end. Further, to promote domestic capacity, the order has been placed for 40,000 units of Oxygen Concentrators on domestic manufacturers.
Among other steps taken in this direction by Oil and Gas PSUs are procurement of high capacity Oxygen compressors to fill the large number of cylinders in a very short period, Import of liquid Oxygen and logistics support for the transport of liquid Oxygen through tankers & ISO Containers. To further boost the availability and distribution of LMO, PSUs of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry are establishing more than 100 PSA Oxygen generation plants in hospitals across the country.