1st medical O2 consignment from Sterlite sent to Tirunelveli MCH

The first batch of medical grade oxygen generated at Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi was dispatched to Tirunelveli Government Medical College Hospital on Thursday. The plant that remained shut since May, 2018, following protest from local public was opened as per guidelines issued by the Supreme Court to meet the growing need for medical oxygen for COVID treatment.
1st medical O2 consignment from Sterlite sent to Tirunelveli MCH
Empty oxygen cylinders from Singapore being sent to Thoothukudi Sterlite plant.


Thoothukudi Collector K Senthil Raj, who is also the chairman of the monitoring committee constituted by the Supreme Court, flagged off the oxygen tankers from the Sterlite plant premises around 7 am amid tight security.
Five kilo litres of oxygen that was certified by a quality assurance lab to be of 98 per cent purity was sent to Tirunelveli Government Medical College Hospital, the Collector said. The generation would be increased gradually and go up to 10 tonnes a day in another two or three days, the official said, adding that the plant would be able achieve its maximum production capacity of 35 tonnes in coming days.
The Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation would take a decision on allocating the oxygen produced at Sterlite to various hospitals.
District police Superintendent S Jeyakumar was present during the flag off.
According to a statement from Sterlite Copper, in view of the crisis, the company is focused on commencing the production of liquid oxygen at the earliest and implemented immediately.
“We will be dispatching two oxygen tankers on a daily basis to begin with, and gradually scale this up as we expand production. The oxygen supplied is of 98.6 per cent purity and has received the necessary medical-grade certifications. We are now working with experts to resolve the logistics involved in transporting the oxygen produced in our facility to required parts of India, and are coordinating with the authorised nodal agencies in this regard,” the statement added.
Pankaj Kumar, CEO, Sterlite Copper, promised to take every effort to ensure continuous production of oxygen from the plant to mitigate the present crisis.
At an all-party meeting chaired by the then Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on April 26, it was resolved to allow Sterlite to produce oxygen from its plant in Thoothukudi, days after Vedanta moved the Supreme Court in this connection. The meeting also decided to constitute a committee comprising the Collector, SP, TNPCB environmental engineer Thoothukudi, government experts, local residents, NGO members and activists opposed to the plant to monitor oxygen production and also decide on running the unit.

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