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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

In the pipeline: 16 oxygen plants in Mumbai in a month

Officials said as soon as tenders are published for the plants, they expect installation to be completed within a month. The shelf life of these plants will be 15 to 30 years.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
April 25, 2021 2:37:32 am
Several private nursing homes and smaller hospitals have been facing a supply delay. Earlier this month, 168 patients had to be shifted from six BMC hospitals after their oxygen supply ran out. (Express File/Vishal Srivastava)

The BMC plans to set up 16 oxygen generation plants in 12 Mumbai hospitals to ensure the city becomes partially self-reliant for its oxygen needs. The new plants will add 43 MT to the daily oxygen production in the city. Mumbai currently requires 235 MT of medical oxygen daily.

On Saturday, the city reported 5,867 new cases and 71 deaths. The state, meanwhile, reported 67,160 fresh cases and over 600 deaths for the second consecutive day. While on Friday, Maharashtra had reported 773 deaths, it recorded 676 deaths on Saturday. In all, the toll in the state stands at 63,928. Maharashtra now has 6.94 lakh active cases.

Officials said as soon as tenders are published for the plants, they expect installation to be completed within a month. The shelf life of these plants will be 15 to 30 years. “This will reduce dependence on external supplies,” a civic official said.

The new plants will work on pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technique that takes in ambient air, subjects it to varying pressure and separates and ejects nitrogen back into the atmosphere. The remaining oxygen is compressed and filtered and fed into medical oxygen pipeline. This oxygen is 92 to 95 per cent pure.

Mumbai currently has 78,226 active cases with 10,048 patients on oxygen support. With 7,000 to 8,000 fresh cases daily, the requirement for oxygen beds and oxygen supply is rising.

Several private nursing homes and smaller hospitals have been facing a supply delay. Earlier this month, 168 patients had to be shifted from six BMC hospitals after their oxygen supply ran out.

Civic officials said they now require an alternative to liquid medical oxygen (LMO) dependence. LMO delivery can take days to reach hospitals from manufacturers, as demand rises and manpower to transport oxygen becomes scarce. The civic body has asked hospitals to maintain oxygen reserves so that in case there is a delay in supply, hospitals can dip into the reserves.

Officials said the new plants, with budget allocation of Rs 90 crore, will cost less in the long run and reduce regular expenditure on jumbo and dura cylinders.

BMC had set up a 500 cubic m plant in Kasturba hospital two years ago. A year ago, another 1,740 cubic m plant was set at Jogeshwari’s Hinduhriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma hospital. Civic officials said both plants have made the hospitals independent of external
oxygen support unless the patient load rises.

Mumbai on Saturday tested only 39,584 people, around 10,000 to 15,000 less than its usual number. The positivity rate remains at 14.8 per cent.

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