Steel plants in the public and private sector supplied 3,131.84 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to various states on April 25, as compared to 2,894 tonnes dispatched on the previous day, said Ministry of Steel on Monday.
The Ministry also said that steel plants are willing to dip into their safety stock to make available more LMO. It also informed about the conversion of nitrogen and argon tankers to carry oxygen.
"A week earlier, on an average 1500 or 1700 metric tonnes per day was being dispatched. The production on April 25 was 3468.6 MT. Steel plants have been able to enhace the supply of LMO by taking various initiatives, which include reduction in the production of nitrogen and argon and only producing LMO in most plants," an official statement said.
"The steel plants are normally required to keep 3.5 days of safety stock of LMO in their storage tanks which are vaporised and used in case some problem develops in the oxygen plants. Through continuous engagement with the steel producers, the safety stock has been reduced to 0.5 days instead of the earlier 3.5 days because of which LMO supply had significantly increased," it said.
According to the Ministry of Steel, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) directed that a certain number of nitrogen and argon tankers be converted to carry oxygen to facilitate the faster movement of LMO. "As of date, there are 765 nitrogen tankers with a capacity of 8345 MT and 434 argon tankers with a capacity of 7642 MT. Permission for converting a portion of them for carrying oxygen has been issued by Petroleum and Explosives Safety Orgzation(PESO). This will remove a major bottleneck in the transportation of LMO to states. As of date, 1172 tankers are available for LMO, with a capacity of 15900 MT," the ministry said.
"Bhilai Steel Plant is taking a very short shut down to enhance their liquid oxygen production by 15MT. This shutdown will not come in the way of dispatches. Similar directions have been given to other Central Public Sector Enterprises-owned steel plants to explore the possibility of enhancing their capacity," it added.
( With inputs from ANI )
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