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Amid a surging second wave of COVID-19 in the country, Reliance Industries (RIL) has ramped up production of medical oxygen to 1000 metric tons per day, making it India’s largest producer of medical-grade liquid oxygen from a single location.
Reliance ramped up production from near-zero to 1,000 tonnes per day and now produces over 11 per cent of the country’s oxygen demand. It has rallied its resources to meet the daily need of over 1 lakh people every day.
“RIL ramps up production of medical-grade liquid oxygen from near zero to 1000 mt per day free of charge. (It is producing) 1000 mt of oxygen to meet the needs of over 1 lakh people every day on an average,” the company said in a statement.
RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani is personally supervising the scale-up of production and transportation at Jamnagar in Gujarat.
In April, Reliance had supplied over 15,000 mt of oxygen free of cost, helping nearly 15 lakh patients.
It had also airlifted 24 ISO containers for transporting Oxygen from Saudi Arabia, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Thailand – creating an additional 500 tonnes of transportation capacity for India.
“As India grapples with an unprecedented new wave of the COVID pandemic, Reliance has risen to the occasion by making an all-out effort to save precious lives,” the statement said.
A critical need of the hour is assured availability of medical-grade liquid oxygen for the treatment of severely ill patients across the country.
“Traditionally, Reliance is not a manufacturer of medical-grade liquid oxygen. Yet, starting from nil before the pandemic, Reliance has now become India’s largest producer of this life-saving resource from a single location,” the statement stated.
The oxygen manufactured by the company would be provided free-of-cost to several states across the country to bring immediate relief to over 1 lakh patients on a daily basis.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March last year, Reliance has supplied over 55,000 MT of medical-grade liquid oxygen across the country.
“At its refinery-cum-petrochemical complex in Jamnagar and other facilities, Reliance now produces over 1,000 tonnes of medical-grade liquid oxygen per day — or over 11 per cent of India’s total production – meeting the needs of nearly every one in ten patients,” it said.
Under the personal supervision of Ambani, Reliance has adopted a two-pronged approach to strengthen the availability of medical oxygen in India – refocusing several industrial processes at Jamnagar and other facilities for rapid scale-up in production of medical-grade liquid oxygen, and augmenting loading and transportation capacities to ensure its swift and safe supply to the states and Union territories.
The firm’s oil refineries and petrochemical plants produce industrial oxygen as part of processes. This was scrubbed to produce high-purity medical grade oxygen. Also, it converted nitrogen tankers into transport trucks to move medical grade oxygen.
Commenting on these initiatives, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited, said, “For me and all of us at Reliance, nothing is more important than saving every life as India battles against a new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
There is an immediate need to maximise India’s production and transportation capacities for medical grade oxygen.
Nita Ambani, Founder-Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, said, “Our country is going through an unprecedented crisis. We at Reliance Foundation will continue to do everything we can to help. Every life is precious. Our plants at our Jamnagar refinery have been repurposed overnight to produce medical grade liquid oxygen that is being distributed across India. Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow countrymen and women. Together, we will overcome these difficult times.”