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Reliance becomes India’s largest producer of medical grade liquid oxygen from single location

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) said on May 1 that it has become India’s largest single-location producer of medical grade liquid oxygen amid the second wave of COVID-19 in the country.RIL said it has ramped up production of medical grade oxygen from zero to 1,000 metric tonne per day and is ensuring swift supply of the resource across states and Union Territories.

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“Traditionally, Reliance is not a manufacturer of medical grade liquid oxygen. Yet, starting from nil before the pandemic, Reliance Industries has now become India’s largest producer of this life-saving resource from a single location,” RIL said in a media statement.

“At its refinery-cum-petrochemical complex in Jamnagar and other facilities, RIL now produces over 1,000 MT of medical grade liquid oxygen per day — or over 11 percent of India’s total production – meeting the needs of nearly every one in ten patients,” the company added.

This oxygen is being provided free of cost to several states across India “to bring immediate relief to over 1 lakh patients” each day, RIL said.

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The conglomerate added that it had reconfigured and optimised its operations designed for refining and petrochemicals grade oxygen to produce high-purity medical grade oxygen despite not being a manufacturer of medical grade liquid oxygen before the pandemic.

Commenting on these initiatives, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited, said: “For me and for 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. I am proud of our engineers at Jamnagar who have worked tirelessly, with a great sense of patriotic urgency, to meet this new challenge.”

“I am truly humbled by the determination and sense of purpose shown by the bright, young members of the Reliance family who have once again risen to the occasion and delivered when India needs it the most,” Ambani added.

“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,” Nita Ambani, Founder-Chairperson of the Reliance Foundation, said.

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Reliance said it had supplied over 55,000 MT of medical grade liquid oxygen across the country since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

To overcome the transportation bottlenecks in supply, “Reliance engineers made smart logistical modifications to rail and road transport, such as laying parallel lines, using hoses and loading up liquid tankers through pressure differential, since liquid oxygen pumps cannot be installed at short notice,” the company said.

Nitrogen tankers were converted to transport trucks for medical grade oxygen through processes approved by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO), the relevant regulatory body of the Government of India, RIL added.

RIL also said it had organised airlifting of 24 ISO containers into India from Saudi Arabia, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Thailand adding 500 MT of new transportation capacity for liquid oxygen. “These containers will help in removing the transport constraints for medical grade liquid oxygen in the country.”

The company thanked Aramco, BP and the Indian Air Force (IAF) for their help in providing and transporting ISO containers, adding that more ISO containers will be airfreighted over the next few days.

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