New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday said fertiliser companies like IFFCO are expected to supply 50 tonnes of medical oxygen per day to hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients.

IFFCO, Gujarat State Fertilisers and Chemicals (GSFC), Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers and Chemicals (GNFC) and other fertiliser companies are augmenting the oxygen supply, it said in a statement.

The government, however, did not give any timeline by when the supply will be made available by these fertiliser plants.

Minister of State for Fertilisers and Chemicals, Mansukh Mandaviya, in a meeting, discussed the possibility of augmenting oxygen production with both public and private fertiliser companies.

“Altogether, it is expected that approximately 50 tonnes of medical oxygen per day can be made available for COVID-19 patients by the fertiliser plants,” the ministry said in a statement.

These steps will augment the medical grade oxygen supply to hospitals in the country in the coming days, it added.

Also read: Watch: Does Guwahati have enough oxygen?

According to the ministry, fertiliser cooperative, IFFCO is putting up an oxygen plant with a capacity of 200 cubic meters per hour in its Kalol unit in Gujarat, and the total capacity would be 33,000 cubic meters per day.

GSFC has made small modifications in their plants and started supplying liquid oxygen, while GNFC has also started supply of liquid oxygen for medical purposes after starting the air separation unit.

Both GSFS and GNFC have already started the process to enhance their oxygen production capacities, the ministry said.

The other fertiliser companies will set up medical plants in hospitals/plants at selected locations in the country through corporate social responsibility (CSR) funding, it added.

In the meeting, the minister called upon the fertiliser companies to help society during the pandemic time by reorienting their existing capacity of oxygen production and augmenting the supply of medical grade oxygen to the hospitals.

The fertiliser companies have readily shown interest to join the efforts of the government to fight the COVID-19 situation in the country, the ministry added.

The move comes amid a crippling shortage of medical oxygen in several parts of the country in the wake of the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the second wave of the pandemic.

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