A technical team inspected the premises of Sterlite Copper unit, where oxygen production plant was ordered to suspend its operations from August 1, on Saturday. To cater to growing needs of medical oxygen for Covid care treatment, the Vedanta’s unit in Thoothukudi got permission to operate the 02 plant for a period of three months, which came to a close on July 31, sources said.
MK Kanimozhi, Thoothukudi MP, said the Oxygen plant in Sterlite was shut as ensured by Chief Minister MK.Stalin in the interest of the Thoothukudi populace. As there was shortage of medical oxygen during the previous regime, the then government gave its nod for oxygen production from Sterlite.
Though the production capacity in the O2 plant was not to the full extent, the delivery of oxygen benefitted much to COVID patients hospitalized in Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli. As of now, there’s not much demand for medical oxygen, the plant was shut and the government would make further decisions if oxygen demand shoots up. Electricity and water supply to Sterlite would be disrupted once the generated oxygen is gone completely away from the plant. Moreover, several oxygen plants have come up in Tamil Nadu and several tonnes of medical oxygen is also dispatched from various states.
While a third COVID wave is sweeping across Kerala, the Tamil Nadu government is keen to prevent such a situation by taking all necessary precautionary measures, she said.