By Ved PrakashNew Delhi [India], May 10 (ANI): INOX Air Products, a major supplier of liquid medical oxygen in the country, has ramped up its production from 2,000 tonnes per day (TPD) to 2,700 TPD to meet the spiraling demand due to surge in COVID-19 cases in the second wave of pandemic in the country. It is also working with government agencies for faster transport of oxygen to states with higher demand and is at present catering to more than one-third of the country's demand when the requirement is at its peak.
Siddharth Jain, Director of INOX Air Products, told ANI that the demand for medical oxygen has shot up by more than 12 times the pre-COVID levels last year. It had gone up by four times during the first wave of pandemic last year.
Jain, who is president of the Gas Industries Association of India, said the government's decision to divert entire production to industrial oxygen for medical purposes a "game changer" saying it has allowed many organisations to contribute significantly in this battle.
He said this could not have been possible without putting "premium on innovation and showing courage to take brave decisions".
INOX Air Products manufactures oxygen in 16 provinces and services the through its 44 production units. These units have been operating 24x7 and are being manned by a 2000-strong workforce to ensure continuous capacity production.
Jain, who is directly responsible for the industrial gases, entertainment and cryogenics equipment manufacturing businesses, said the ramping up has been possible due to the employees.
"This hugely challenging ramp-up has only been possible due to the efforts of each and every employee of INOXAP. All of us are driven by the commitment to serve the country in this hour of crisis, which is nothing short of a war," he said.
"Right from our tanker drivers to our plant operations and maintenance teams, every single person has made massive sacrifices to ensure that the supplies remain consistent. We are proud of sacrifices they are making. We at INOX Air Products have been running all units 24x7 to ensure continuous production of medical oxygen to more than 800 hospitals," he added.
Jain, an alumnus of University of Michigan who studied Mechanical Engineering and later pursued MBA from INSEAD, said oxygen is in excess supply in some eastern states and "the demand is mostly coming from northern and southern states like Maharashtra, Delhi, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka where the supply is still falling way short of the demand".
As the largest manufacturer of medical and industrial gases in India, INOX Air Products has supplied more than 3,72,000 tons of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) to hospitals across India in 12 months since April last year. Of this, 60,000 tons of LMO has been supplied in April this year alone.
India has a total production capacity of 7200 TPD being produced form 70 manufacturing locations. With the government's decision regarding industrial oxygen, LMO production in the country has been augmented by about 30 per cent taking the total capacity to 9,200 TPD.
INOX Air Products has met over 60 per cent of the oxygen requirement in the country till March 2020 and about 50 per cent till March 2021.
Under Jain's leadership, INOX Air Products has installed more than 130 medical oxygen storage tanks at various hospital premises and COVID-19 facilities in the last 13 monthsJain also spoke about how INOX Air Products has collaborated with various government-led logistical initiatives like Oxygen Express by Indian Railways and air lifting of empty cryogenic oxygen tankers by Indian Air Force which are helping ease pressure on the supply chain. (ANI)