Even as the country reels under shortage of oxygen, SAIL is unable to despatch all of its stock pile of 11,000 tonnes of oxygen, for want of enough tankers.
Chinmoy Samajdar, SAIL’s chief general manager, told FE the company has further enhanced its oxygen producing capacity of 860 tonnes a day in view of the present Covid situation but despatches are dependent on the availability of tankers. Samajdar refrained from commenting on whether the CPSE was looking for enhanced logistics support to clear their stock pile, but said the company as of date has sufficient stock of oxygen and was ready to despatch them if tankers were made available.
” The oxygen we produce is 99.7% pure and can be medically used. SAIL at present has sufficient stock of of 11,000 tonnes and we are despatching 950 tonne to 1050 tonnes a day,” Samajdar said.
SAIL produces liquid oxygen from its plants at Durgapur, Burnpur, Bokaro, Bhilai and Rourkella with a cumulative capacity of 729 tonnes a day. Samajdar said SAIL was distributing its oxygen to 15 states across the country but since logistics support comes from outside agencies its despatches depend on the availability of cryogenic tankers. The plants of SAIL are despatching oxygen in whatever mode available, be it rail or road and recently oxygen was despatched by the oxygen express from the Bokaro steel plant.
Since August last year SAIL has despatched 40,000 tonnes of oxygen for medical use.
Meanwhile, the country’s coal producing PSU, Coal India Ltd (CIL), has plans afoot to set up two oxygen producing units likely in Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd and Northern Coalfields Ltd to exclusively meet with the country’s medical oxygen demand.
CIL doesn’t need to produce oxygen for their operational requirement but has planned to put up two units viewing the emergency situation. The board has already taken a call on it and will decide on the matter soon, a CIL executive said.