The Indian corporate world has come together to support the Centre and state governments in their efforts to tide over the current COVID crisis. To start with, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has constituted a task force to streamline supply of liquid medical oxygen by focusing on packaging and transport.
The CII has proposed use of direct vessels to import oxygen, solutions to logistical bottlenecks, ways to cut down on transit time by creation of green corridors and speedy loading-unloading of containers, among other suggestions.
The country desperately needs cryogenic vessels (required to carry oxygen over long distances). Sensing this need, the Tata Group has placed orders for 36 such vessels which are expected to reach India by the end of April. In addition, Tata Steel is providing 600 tonne medical oxygen to hospitals in different parts of the country.
The ITC too is importing 24 cryogenic containers, of 20 tonne capacity each. It is also exploring imports of a large number of oxygen concentrators and generators for distribution purpose.
At present, JSW Steel is supplying 1,000 tonnes of oxygen a day from its Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu facilities, which will be increased to 20,000 tonnes soon, said JSW Steel Ltd joint managing director and Group CFO Seshagiri Rao MVS.
Besides, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is collectively supplying over 700 tonne of medical oxygen a day to several states.
The Adani Group has placed orders for four cryogenic tanks with 80 tonne liquid oxygen from Saudi Arabia.
“Vedanta, Jubilant Ingrevia Ltd and many others major corporate houses are continuing to explore avenues to help address the shortage of oxygen in the country,” the statement further said.
CII president designate TV Narendran said: “There is a dire need to increase the availability of oxygen and address the logistical issues in transporting oxygen across the country. It is heartening to see that Industry has come forward in such a big way to support the cause and provide solutions in a very short span of time using all possible means.”
ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India is supplying 220 tonne of liquid oxygen per day to Gujarat while Jindal Steel & Power Ltd is supplying 80-100 MT per day to various states and is ready to increase the capacity to 150 MT per day, the CII statement read.