About 6,650 metric tonne (MT) oxygen is being supplied by steel plants and oil refineries to healthcare centres across the country for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Sunday.
In a series of tweets, Pradhan, who handles the portfolios of petroleum and natural gas, and steel, said the domestic steel and petroleum industries are making every effort to help India combat the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both public and private sector steel plants have ramped up daily production capacities, including through diverting liquid nitrogen and argon production capacity towards production of additional quantities of LMO, he said.
"Steel plants and oil refineries are playing a crucial role in strengthening India's fight against #Covid19 by producing and supplying approx. 6,650 MT of medical oxygen out of the daily allocation of 10,000 MT in the country," the minister tweeted.
Pradhan said that steel makers, including SAIL, RINL, Tata Steel Ltd, AMNS India, JSPL, have ramped up LMO supplies to over 4,473 MT/day from 538 MT/day as on April 1, 2021.
The minister further said that to strengthen the critical care and emergency health care infrastructure, petroleum and steel sector companies are facilitating more than 10,000 oxygenated beds at temporary jumbo Covid care centres across the country on a war footing.
Players like SAIL, RINL, MOIL, JSPL, and Tata Steel are in the process of establishing 8,500 oxygenated beds across the country, he said and added AMNSIndia has already made operational a 250-bed Covid care centre at Hazira plant which will be expanded to the 1000 beds in the near future.
"@BPCLimited's Bina refinery is supplying 10 ton per day gaseous oxygen to a 1,000-bed Covid care facility at Bina, Madhya Pradesh. Kochi refinery is supplying gaseous oxygen & drinking water to one of the largest Covid care facility coming up near the Kochi refinery in Kerala," Pradhan tweeted.
In another tweet, he said, "IOCL has commenced supply of 15 ton per day gaseous oxygen to the 500-bedded jumbo Covid care facility at Panipat. CPCL Chennai & HMEL Bathinda are in the process of facilitating 200 and 100 beds with continuous supply of gaseous oxygen at Chennai & Bathinda respectively."
Besides, 13 PSUs of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas are establishing more than 100 PSA Oxygen generation plants in hospitals across the country to further boost the availability and distribution of life-saver medical oxygen.
Oil PSUs have also placed orders for high capacity oxygen compressors for filling oxygen cylinders, he said. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is procuring 1 lakh oxygen concentrators.
Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) has contracted 207 ISO tankers with a cumulative capacity of 4214 MT to bolster logistics, transport and last mile deliveries of LMO.
Petroleum PSUs, Pradhan said, have also tied up with oil majors in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar for import of 13,740 MT of liquid oxygen.
"The petroleum & steel industry is doing everything possible to save lives and better prepare for emerging health challenges. Under the guidance of PM Shri @narendramodi, our steel & petroleum sector remains committed to strengthen & support India's fight against the #Covid19," he said.