Oxygen production starts at the Sterlite Copper plant at Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu with the first batch of medical-grade oxygen despatched from the port town. One of the oxygen plants commenced production from May 12. The first tanker carrying 4.8 tonnes of liquid oxygen is going to Tirunelveli / Thoothukudi in southern Tamil Nadu.
This should be of help to the State, which is in need of higher quantities for oxygen due to the increase in the number of Coronavirus cases.
To begin with, Sterlite will despatch two oxygen tankers on a daily basis and gradually scale this as production is expanded, says a company press release.
The oxygen supplied is of 98.6 per cent purity and has received the necessary medical-grade certifications. The company is working with experts to resolve the logistics involved in transporting the oxygen produced in the facility to required parts of India and are coordinating with the authorised nodal agencies in this regard, the release said.
Pankaj Kumar, CEO, Sterlite Copper: “My team members and I are honoured that our facility and efforts are being directly put into helping save lives. We promise to make every possible effort to ensure that there is continuous production of oxygen from our plant to mitigate this crisis.”
It gives us great satisfaction to be part of the united effort to stem the pandemic, and are especially grateful to the Supreme Court, State government, Central government and local administration for making every effort to provide the necessary approvals in an expedited manner, he dded.
Sterlite Copper’s oxygen plant was reactivated at the earliest through the collaborative efforts of our suppliers and partners as well. The support received from our employees and community also played a critical role in helping ready the plant for immediate production.
Initially, the plant is likely to produce 35 MTs of liquid medical oxygen daily and can be obtained only in a week’s time.
With daily Coronavirus cases increasing every day, the demand for oxygen is going up significantly. The State has a daily installed capacity for around 400 MT of liquid oxygen. Currently, the State is using 450 MTs for medical purposes and due to Covid-19 patients and the fact that the active cases crossed 1.25 lakhs, demand for medical oxygen is only expected to increase.
The State government had sought the Centre to increase oxygen allocation to 500 MT but it was increased to 419 MT from 220 MT.
Also read: Oxygen from Sterlite: the wait continues