April 29, 2021 3:18:45 am
As the country battles to meet the shortfall of medical grade oxygen amidst rising Covid-19 cases and mortality, India Inc has stepped up in a big way. If some are importing ventilators and oxygen concentrators, a number of steel manufacturers and petrochemical companies have diverted their resources to produce medical grade oxygen.
On Wednesday, Maruti Suzuki India Limited announced that it will shut down its factories in Haryana for nine days beginning May 1, in a bid to make oxygen available for medical needs.
“As part of the car manufacturing process, Maruti Suzuki uses a small amount of oxygen in its factories while relatively much larger quantities are used by the manufacturers of components. In the current situation, we believe that all available oxygen should be used to save lives. Accordingly, Maruti Suzuki has decided to advance its maintenance shutdown, originally scheduled for June, to 1st to 9th May,” said the company in its statement.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), on Tuesday, formed a task force on Oxygen Supply Chain to work with Central and state governments to augment oxygen supply.
Companies including Tata Group, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), JSW Group, Adani, ITC, and Jindal Steel and Power, to name a few, have come forward to supplying medical oxygen, cryogenic vessels, portable concentrators and generators, said CII in its statement. While RIL is manufacturing 700 MT of liquid medical oxygen per day, it plans to raise the capacity to 1,000 MT per day.
Tata Steel, on Monday, said that it has increased its daily oxygen supply limit to 600 MT per day. Among other leading players, while JSW Steel Limited has reduced its output to supply 1,000 tonne of medical grade oxygen per day, a senior official with Jindal Steel and Power Limited said that the company is producing 100 tonne of medical grade oxygen per day. Steel Authority of India Limited is supplying an average of around 650 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen per day over the last few days. ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India is supplying 220 MT of liquid oxygen per day to Gujarat.
While ITC is airlifting 24 Cryogenic ISO Containers, with 20 tonne capacity each, Adani Group is importing 4 ISO cryogenic tanks with 80 MT liquid oxygen from Saudi Arabia. On Tuesday, Amazon said that it would ship 100 ICU ventilator units to India from the US. It had earlier worked with partners to airlift more than 8,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 ventilators from Singapore.
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