Indian steel mills in both, the public and private sector have dispatched 2,894mt of liquid medical oxygen on April 24 to different states as against daily 1500/1700mt a week ago, according to the Ministry of Steel.
In the steel sector, there are 33 oxygen plants, out of which 29 are tapped regularly and its total daily medical oxygen production capacity is 2,834mt. The production of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) was reported at 3,474mt on April 24.
Most of the steel units have reduced the production of Nitrogen and Argon and only producing LMO which can be used only used for medical purposes.
Large steel mills require gaseous oxygen for making steel and for oxygen enrichment in blast furnaces, apart from some general purposes like lancing and gas cutting. They also store about 5-6pc of their production in liquid form which is a highly pure product compared to industrial oxygen.
Steel mills are also filling oxygen cylinders and supplying to the States/hospitals.
The average delivery of liquid medical oxygen by Sail has been raised to more than 800mt per day. Around 1,150mt of LMO was delivered on April 23, and 960mt on April 24.
The steelmaker has been continuously enhancing LMO supply from all its five units. Total liquid medical oxygen supplied from Sail integrated steel plants at Bhilai, Bokaro, Rourkela, Durgapur, and Burnpur from August 2020 till April 24 2021 stands at 39,647mt.
RINL had supplied 8,842mt of LMO in the previous fiscal year 2020-21. In FY22, it has been dispatched over 1,300mt of medical oxygen till April 25. In the last three days, it has increased from 100mt to 140mt. First Oxygen express had been initiated by the Indian Railway from RINL or Vizag steel plant on April 22 carrying 100mt of liquid medical oxygen to Maharashtra to meet medical emergencies for COVID-19 patients.