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Oxygen crisis: no power outages, local interference in plants, government to cover up nitrogen, argon tanker trucks | India News


NEW DELHI: In response to what it has called “an extremely urgent requirement” to increase the supply of liquid medical oxygen (LMO), the Center has directed states that there will be no power outages at oxygen manufacturing plants and that the district / local administrations be informed that there is no interference to guarantee the proper functioning of the plants.
In addition, to ensure the uninterrupted movement of LMOs, the Center wishes to convert “most” of the tankers that currently carry nitrogen and argon into tankers that carry oxygen. According to the center, there are 1,199 – 434 argon and 765 nitrogen tankers in the country and 516 LMO tankers spread across 11 major states.
The 516 LMO tanker trucks have a capacity to transport around 7,300 metric tons, which is insufficient to address the problem at hand. Therefore, urging the conversion of other tankers, a letter from union cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba identified 516 (214 argon and 353 nitrogen) oxygen-free carriers that can carry 7,500 metric tons (MT) to increase the transport capacity of LMOs. . TOI has a copy of the letter.

Oxygen crisis: no power outages, local interference in plants, government to cover up nitrogen, argon tanker trucks | India News

“There is an extremely urgent requirement to increase the supply of LMOs. However, the availability of tanker trucks can become a bottleneck in the supply chain, as most of them have already been put into service. An alternative to ensure the uninterrupted movement of LMOs is to convert tankers that carry nitrogen and argon. It is recommended that the maximum number of tankers, as deemed feasible, be converted to oxygen-carrying tankers to facilitate this movement, quickly, ”Gauba said.
Saket Tiku, president of the All India Industrial Gas Manufacturers Association (AIIGMA), said that transportation has been a problem and that the industry wanted it too. “The process of converting nitrogen or argon tanker trucks into oxygen-carrying vehicles is not complicated and the center also agreed to grant other permits,” he told TOI.
And, a circular dated March 29 from the regulatory body Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) says that cryogenic tankers licensed to transport nitrogen and argon can transport LMOs without the need for a license amendment.
Subhashish Guha Roy, Managing Director of Universal Air Products, said: “The reason for choosing Nitrogen and Argon Tanker Trucks is that they are cryogenic (-150 ° C). We can do it in one day as the process is simple: purge the tanks with oxygen, bring it to oxygen purity and compatibility, and then fill it with oxygen. You only need to do it once, ”he said.
In another letter from the Center to states accessed by TOI, Sumita Dawra, additional secretary of the GoI, has said: “Oxygen manufacturers are located in different states and must supply oxygen according to the requirements of various states … Please , make sure there is no power interruption to these units. Additionally, health departments in all states must ensure that District Administration does not interfere with oxygen manufacturing plants that may be located in the district. ”
Noting that the manufacturing plant would be supplying oxygen to the rest of the state and to other states in the country, the letter marked ‘most urgent’ notes that interference at the local level would cause disruptions in the oxygen supply chain at the national level, “That it is better to avoid “.
Several oxygen manufacturers TOI spoke with said that, among other things, the local administration must ensure that the movement of tanker trucks is similar to that of ambulances. “There should be no stops at toll booths or other checkpoints to avoid delays and improve response time.

Times of India