Kerala

Flash strikes that affect productivity will not be tolerated: Minister

Minister for Industries P. Rajeeve inaugurating the new hot-bag filter system and upgraded oxygen plant at Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd. (KMML) in Kollam on Friday. C. Sureshkumar  

The working pattern of employees should be made more flexible so that overtime hours can be brought to zero, Industries Minister P. Rajeeve has said.

Inaugurating the new hot-bag filter system and upgraded oxygen plant at Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd. (KMML) here on Friday, the Minister said the government had initiated steps to strengthen public sector companies.

While assuring Land Acquired Persons Association (LAPA) employees that the proposal to increase their working days was under consideration, the Minister said that flash strikes that affected productivity would not be entertained. “The company incurred a loss of nearly ₹70 lakh when the LAPA workers went on a flash strike and such anarchy will not be tolerated.”

₹4-cr. system

The process to convert titanium dioxide pigment coming out of the microniser to the final product requires extra fuel and energy. Every day microniser emits around 5 tonnes of vapour with the pigment. Since the temperature of the pigment is over 200 degrees, a hot bag filter system was needed. The new system was installed at ₹4 crore and it also helps to improve the quality of the pigment.

The new system was commissioned by the KMML officials following the advice of experts from a German company. Company officials decided to commission the plant themselves as it was difficult for the engineers to travel from Germany due to the pandemic.

Self-reliant in oxygen

The KMML had become self-reliant in oxygen production with the commissioning of its new 70 tonne per day (tpd) plant in 2020 October. The 50-tpd plant commissioned in 1984 had fell inadequate to meet the demand of the Titanium dioxide Pigment (TP) unit and over the years its capacity had come down to 33 tpd. Before that the company was buying 26 tonnes of oxygen per day from other manufacturers spending around ₹12 crore per year. The new plant has been producing 63 tonne oxygen, 70 tonne nitrogen, 7 tonne liquefied oxygen and nitrogen every day.

The company later decided to increase its production of liquid oxygen for medical needs considering the demand due to COVID-19. The KMML had contacted the German company that set up the plant and made a technological change to increase production capacity of liquefied oxygen to 10 tonnes. The increase in production capacity was made possible at a cost of ₹3.3 crore.


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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 11:49:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/flash-strikes-that-affect-productivity-will-not-be-tolerated-minister/article36520166.ece

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