Steel plants, across the country, belonging to the Public as well as the Private sectors, have been reguklarly supplying the life-saving Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) to the country. Under the guidance of the Minister of Steel and Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, they have undertaken a number of steps to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, and bring relief to the people.
Along with the Petroleum sector, they have been contributing major share of the LMO requirement of the country which stands at about 10 thousand MT/day. Steel plants have ramped up LMO supplies from 538 MT per day as on 1st April 2021 to over 4 thousand MT per day. On 17th May, they supplied 4435 MT LMO, going up from4314 MT on 16th May. This included 1485 MT from SAIL, 158MT from RINL, 1154MT from TATA, 238MT from AMNS, 1162MT from JSW, and rest from other steel plants. Steel plants have ramped up daily production capacities, including through diverting liquid nitrogen and argon production capacity towards production of additional quantities of LMO.They also reduced usage of gaseous oxygen to increase production of LMO.
From the petroleum sector, approximately 1150 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 sectoris in the process of establishing 8500 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 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, withwhole consignment reaching by next month-end. Further, to promote domestic capacity, 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 large number of cylinders in very short period, Import of Liquid Oxygen and Logistics support for transport of Liquid Oxygen through tankers & ISO Containers.To further boost the availability and distribution of LMO, PSUs of the Petroleumand Natural Gas Ministry are establishing more than 100 PSA Oxygen generation plants in hospitals across the country.