The issue is further compounded due to shortage of factory staff as many are getting infected. (Representative Image: AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Blanket orders from the government to stop industries from using oxygen has affected the production of cylinders used to store and transport the gas.
India’s biggest oxygen cylinder manufacturers Rama Cylinders and Everest Kanto Cylinders have halted production due to shortage of oxygen, needed during the heat treatment process to produce seamless cylinders, sources told The Economic Times.
Production has been stopped over the past two days, they added.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
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Other sources said that production had also been impacted for other cylinder makers across India, including the Kandla Special Economic Zone.
An executive at Everest Kanto told the paper that they had requested the government to “allocate a consistent supply of oxygen” so that the factory could be run.
But, with astronomical cases amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in India and a desperate need for oxygen for medical purposes, authorities face a “hard choice” between sparing some oxygen for cylinder factories and dispatching it for SOS calls from hospitals.
The issue is even more severe as people are now hoarding oxygen cylinders due to fear, the report added. VR Sharma, managing director of Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL), which is diverting its oxygen supply for medical use, said that supply shortage of containers and cylinders is “heavy” as many are not returning them back.
Siddharth Jain, director at Inox Air Products noted that oxygen production is the easiest process, but delivery has been marred by supply chain issues.
The issue is further compounded due to shortage of factory staff as many are getting infected, an employee at Rama Cylinders said, calling the problems in production “unlimited”.
Besides cylinders, the supply of large cryogenic containers is also “scarce” – this is used to transport liquid oxygen.Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here