DCC Bank planning to set up oxygen plants

The District Central Cooperative (DCC) Bank plans to set up two oxygen generation plants in Belagavi district.

The bank’s board has agreed in-principle to set up the two units, one near Belagavi and the other near Chikkodi. But details are still being worked out, DCCB chairman Ramesh Katti said.

“The bank is studying various proposals submitted by agencies to set up such plants. We will finalise a project that can be set up in the shortest time,” he told The Hindu on Tuesday. The bank officials are reading proposals and meeting technology providers. However, “we have a few unanswered questions, about expenses and the time line,” he said.

According to him, the three technical support groups that the bank has contacted have said that they will require six months to set up such plants. “We have asked experts from Gujarat, Bengaluru and Chennai to see if the time line could be further reduced,” he said.

“An entrepreneur from Mumbai has told us of the possibility of setting up captive plants on hospital premises. That can be done in 10 weeks, but the cost of production is higher compared to standalone plants,” Mr. Katti said.

“We are also exploring various options such as financing sugar factories that are willing to convert their plants into oxygen manufacturing units. We have given loans to 21 of the 25 factories in the district till now. But they are reluctant to set up oxygen plants as it calls for some investment and there is no guarantee of the demand for oxygen continuing after six months,’’ the chairman said.

“We are asking sugar factories to start production of medical oxygen now and later diversify into production of industrial oxygen, if the demand falls. But the response is not encouraging,’’ he said.

He noted that some sugar factories in Belagavi were filling around 40-50 cylinders per day. “This falls short of our demand. Also, this cannot be scaled up,’’ Mr. Katti said.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 12:20:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dcc-bank-planning-to-set-up-oxygen-plants/article34536894.ece

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