Steelmakers have supplied about 1.43 metric tonne (MT) liquid medical oxygen to various parts of the country for the treatment of coronavirus patients.
Oxygen from steel plants is being supplied to states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh (PTI Image)
Steelmakers have supplied about 1.43 metric tonne (MT) liquid medical oxygen to various parts of the country for the treatment of coronavirus patients. From September 2020 to April 22, 2021, the total LMO supplied by the steel industry — including public and private sectors — was 1,43,876.283 MT, of which the contribution of steel CPSEs stood at 39, 805.73 MT, as per data provided by the Steel Ministry.
Private steel companies supplying oxygen are Tata Steel, ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India (AMNS India), JSW Steel, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Vedanta ESL, while state-owned firms are Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL). Oxygen from steel plants is being supplied to states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, among others.
On Thursday, Tata Steel said it is supplying 300 tonne of LMO daily to various states. Meanwhile, AMNS India increased its daily supply limit to 210 tonne. JSW Steel and JSPL said they are supplying 185 tonne and 100 tonne per day, respectively. While RINL is transporting 100 tonne daily LMO; SAIL in a tweet on Thursday said it is supplying on an average 600 tonne oxygen per day. All the companies are making efforts to increase their daily supply limit.
On the contribution of steelmakers, Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said: “I thank all steel companies for coming together and responding to the call of the nation and working 24×7 to produce LMO. We will together fight the COVID-19 pandemic”. SRTMI Director Mukesh Kumar said the role of integrated steel plants has grown beyond being a steel producer in times of pandemic. They have shown they are not just steel producing units.
“They are playing the role of a life saviour by diverting supply of life-saving liquid medical oxygen to hospitals across the country,” he said. Steel Research & Technology Mission of India (SRTMI) is a collaborative platform — formed jointly by the steel ministry and domestic steel players — to facilitate research and development (R&D) in the iron and steel sector by strengthening association among industry, academia and research bodies.
N Baijendra Kumar, Former CMD of NMDC, said the contribution steel plants are making can not be described. “Most of the steel companies in public as well private sector would use their funds for COVID related activities. They have done an excellent job by supplying oxygen to the needy,” he said.
Jayanta Roy, senior vice-president and group head (corporate sector ratings) of Icra, said the steel companies have been playing a very important role in the country’s efforts towards making oxygen available to critical patients. The life of a patient is of course much more important than maintaining plant capacity utilisation, and the way these companies have come forward to meet oxygen demand is highly commendable, Roy said.