PSUs mount huge oxygen operations in the fight against Covid
Public sector companies have ramped up operations to ensure a steady supply of oxygen for emergency medical use in the wake of the second wave of Covid-19.
Steel companies, engineering units, railways, PSUs have joined together to fill the oxygen gap in the country. Many PSUs have also arranged hospital beds and enhanced the capacities in their hospitals to assist in the treatment of Covid patients.
Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), leading the charge, has increased the production of medical liquid oxygen from 500 million tonne (mt) in the second week of April to about 1,000 mt per day from its plants set up in Bhilai, Rourkela, Bokaro, Durgapur, and Burnpur.
SAIL has even loaded 950 mt of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) on 14 different Oxygen Express trains to supply to various parts of the county from these plants at Bokaro, Rourkela, and Durgapur. It will also add 2,500 extra beds with oxygen facilities near its plants throughout the country for the treatment of Covid patients.
Indian Railways till now has run 27 Oxygen Express trains which have 1,585 mt of LMO. An additional six trains are on their way to different destinations carrying 463 mt of oxygen. Engineering and manufacturing PSU BHEL is supplying oxygen in Bhopal and Haridwar, whereas, RINL, which is on the edge of privatisation has supplied 1,300 mt of medical oxygen.
GAIL is setting up pressure swing absorption (PSA) medical oxygen generation plants in 10 different places and ICO is supplying oxygen to Haryana and Punjab. ICO has also converted the LNG tanks and containers into oxygen carriers and diverting new LNG tanks for the supply of liquid oxygen.
Oil PSUs are arranging for PSA medical oxygen generation plants in 93 different locations throughout India. Coal India has set up emergency utility equipment with more than 1,400 oxygen cylinders.
Other PSUs like Cochin, Shipyard, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders (MDL), Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVN), NLC India Ltd, and Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers (RCF) are also taking steps to supply LMO and also expanding the hospital facilities.