Kerala

KMML to get more oxygen self-reliant

Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML) has become self-reliant in oxygen production with the new 70-tonne per day (TPD) plant inaugurated online by Chief Minister Pinaryi Vijayan on Saturday.

“Along with the oxygen needed for industrial purposes, the plant will also cater to the health sector making the new facility extremely advantageous under current circumstances,” said the Chief Minister in his inaugural address.

He added that the government had been implementing comprehensive renovation and upgrading works in public sector since chemical industry in the State had great possibilities. “A mineral separation unit was installed at the KMML at the cost of ₹10 crore after LDF government came into power. While the KMML had registered a profit of ₹3 crore in 2015-16, in 2017-18 the profit jumped to a record ₹151 crore. In 2018-19, the profit was ₹163 crore and even in the midst of a severe crisis, the unit achieved a profit of ₹42 crore in the 2019-20 financial year,” he said.

When commissioned in 1984, the production capacity of Titanium dioxide Pigment (TP) unit in KMML was 22,000 tonnes. A 50-TPD oxygen plant corresponding to the demand was also commissioned along with the unit, but the pigment production capacity of the unit considerably escalated around 1999-2000. When it reached 36,000 tonnes per year, the oxygen plant fell inadequate to meet the 63 tonne per day demand, and by this time the capacity had come down to 35 tonne from the original 50. After this, the KMML had to buy 26 tonnes of oxygen per day from other manufacturers to meet the surge in demand and since then, the KMML has been spending around ₹12 crore per year for purchasing oxygen.

The new completely automatic 70 TDP plant with high energy efficiency was completed with Rs 50 crore including Rs 4 sanctioned for civil works. If the production cost of one tonne oxygen in the earlier plant was Rs 7,000, the new plant can produce the same quantity with Rs 4,500. There is also a huge difference in energy consumption as the new plant has brought it down to 850 units per tonne from the earlier 1,200. The oxygen plant purifies, liquefies and separates air into industrial gases and the oxygen and nitrogen produced have high market value. The plant will produce 63 tonne oxygen, 70 tonne nitrogen, 7 tonne liquefied oxygen and nitrogen every day. The liquid oxygen produced at the plant can be used for medical needs and now KMML can augment medical oxygen supply if the health sector faces any shortage.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 7:06:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kmml-to-get-more-oxygen-self-reliant/article32821757.ece

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