Indian Steel Makers Divert Oxygen for Medical Use to Fight COVID19
Oxygen COVID19UNICEF

Indian Steel Makers Divert Oxygen for Medical Use to Fight COVID19

With unprecedented explosion in new reported COVID19 cases last week (12-Apr 160,694, 13-Apr 185,248, 14-Apr 199,569, 15-Apr 216,850, 16-Apr

With unprecedented explosion in new reported COVID19 cases last week (12-Apr 160,694, 13-Apr 185,248, 14-Apr 199,569, 15-Apr 216,850, 16-Apr 233,943, 17-Apr 260,778 & 18-Apr 275,306), India has fallen in never seen before health emergency crisis, with media reports suggesting severe shortages of testing, beds, lifesaving drugs & oxygen in most parts of the country. As a result, to mitigate liquid medical oxygen shortage, crucial medical requirement for the treatment of coronavirus patients, Indian government on Sunday decided to restrict oxygen supply to iindustries in an attempt to divert supplies for medical use, while prohibiting flow to other sectors. India’s Health secretary Mr Rajesh Bhushan wrote to states on Sunday saying industries should consider measures such as importing oxygen or setting up their own air separator units to meet requirements. He said the move is necessitated as demand for medical oxygen had surged to almost 60% of the daily oxygen production and is expected to rise further. A central control room has been set up which is coordinating with states and matching availability with companies.

According to report in Business Standard, India’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade has limited the industrial use of oxygen to only nine key sectors, including steel plants, petroleum refineries, pharmaceuticals, food and water purification, among others. DPIIT said "The supply of oxygen for industrial purposes by manufacturers and suppliers is prohibited forthwith from 22.04.2021 till further orders. The surplus oxygen available due to the temporary restriction is expected to free up its use as medical oxygen.”

Union Steel Minister Mr Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday held a meeting with senior officials of the ministry to augment availability of medical oxygen in the country. The ministry Tweeted “28 oxygen plants located in the steel plants of both public and private sectors are supplying about 1,500 tonne of medical oxygen every day. An additional stock of 30,000 tonnes, including the safety stock, is being made available for medical use.”

As per media reports, Indian primary steel makers are already supplying oxygen to various states by diverting oxygen used in the making of steel for medical usage

Tata Steel - 300 tonnes per day

JSW Steel - 185 tonne per day

JSPL – 50-100 tonnes per day

ArcelorMittal - 200 tonnes per day

SAIL has supplied more than 33,000 tonnes of LMO since April 2020

Meanwhile, the domestic steel industry is gearing up for a slightly muted demand as auto and consumer durables segments are expected to take a hit going ahead. at Institute for Steel Development and Growth Secretary General Mr PK Sen told BS “Demand from auto and white goods is not expected to pick up. It will not a be a situation as bad as last year since both companies and consumers have kind of learned to tide over the situation, but overall it will be a muted demand atleast in the large cities. Even this year, demand from rural areas and from small cities and towns will be relatively higher compared to metros as the pandemic has not had much impact in those areas.”

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