As the country's healthcare infrastructure struggles to hold up the rising COVID-19 caseload, the fertilizer industry is pitching in by supplying 50 metric tonnes of medical oxygen on a daily basis.
As per a statement, fertilizer companies welcomed the initiative of Minister of State of Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya to explore the possibility of production of oxygen in their plants.
Companies readily showed interest to join the efforts of the government and decided in meeting that IFFCO will put up an oxygen plant with the capacity of 200 cubic meters per hour in its KALOL unit in Gujarat and their total capacity would be 33,000 cubic meters per day.
In a meeting with fertilizers companies of the public sector, private sector as well as co-operative sector, Mandaviya stressed that the fertilizer companies can help society during this pandemic by reorienting their existing capacity of oxygen production and augmenting the supply of medical grade oxygen.
"GSFC made small modifications in their plants and started supplying liquid oxygen. GNFC has also started supply of liquid oxygen for medical purpose after starting of air separation unit," the chemical and fertiliser ministry added.
The ministry further said that GSFS and GNFC had already started the process to enhance their oxygen production capacities. The other fertilizer companies will set up medical plants in hospitals/plants at selected locations in the country through CSR funding.
Altogether it is expected that approximately 50 metric tonnes of medical oxygen per day can be made available for COVID-19 patients by the fertilizer plants. These steps will augment the medical grade oxygen supply to hospitals in the country in the coming days.