Karnataka

Gas plants on JSW premises scale up oxygen production

Taking note of the severe shortfall of oxygen cylinders at health facilities across the country after the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases, oxygen producers operating from Jindal’s steel plant at Toranagal in Ballari district have considerably increased liquid oxygen production.

As per information provided by sources in the steel plant, four oxygen producing companies, including Linde Gas India (earlier called Praxair), BOC India Limited and Industrial Gases Private Limited that supply gases, including oxygen, required for making steel to JSW, have already increased production of liquid medical oxygen to meet the growing demand.

“Normally, these four companies together produce between 120 tonnes and 150 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen a day and supply it to various hospitals. Last July [when COVID-19 was widespread], the production of liquid medical oxygen in the JSW plant rose to 200 tonnes a day and reached 430 tonnes a day by September. Now, we are back to the same sort of situation. In the first week of April this year, production was around 130 tonnes and now, it has increased to 350 tonnes a day,” a JSW official told The Hindu.

He added that production was expected to be further increased to over 400 tonnes a day in the days to come.

The companies are supplying medical oxygen to various hospitals in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and other States as per requirement. It is learnt that production of medical oxygen in these plants is being monitored by high-level officers in the Union government after oxygen shortfall in hospitals became a serious issue.

Meanwhile, officials involved in medical oxygen production say that the problem cannot be solved by increasing production of medical oxygen alone. “Transportation and storage infrastructure for oxygen after it is produced is also equally crucial. It requires tankers, cylinders and storage infrastructure also,” they said.

“State-level meetings are regularly being held on the issue and JSW authorities are also participating in them,” Ballari Deputy Commissioner Pavan Kumar Malapati has said.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 1:41:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/gas-plants-on-jsw-premises-scale-up-oxygen-production/article34377265.ece

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