The Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and its business partner Prodair Air Products has begun to supply liquid oxygen to government hospitals in Kerala‚Äôs Ernakulam district, free of cost, to help the state in its fight against COVID-19. The first truck of oxygen that came from the Kochi refinery of BPCL to the Ernakulam Medical College was flagged off by District Collector S Suhas.
Post outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for medical oxygen has gone up many folds and government authorities have identified a shortage of medical oxygen across the country.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has been requesting Refineries to explore possibilities for producing medical grade oxygen with available facilities in the Refineries.
The Build-Own-Operate unit of BPCL-KR, operated by M/s Prodair Air Products India Pvt Ltd has a provision to produce and store liquid oxygen of 99.7% purity.
This liquid oxygen is expected to meet the medical grade specification, the company said.
It said various central and state government agencies like Centre for High Technology (CHT), Factories & Boilers, PESO have been in contact with BPCL and Prodair Air Products and have been offering all their support for this initiative.
"Considering the urgency of the situation prevailing in the state due to the unprecedented spurt in COVID-19 cases and medical oxygen shortage, BPCL and AP explored and established the possibility of producing 10 tons/week of liquid oxygen which will meet medical grade oxygen specifications,‚ÄĚ said a statement released by BPCL.
Liquid oxygen, thus produced by Air Product, would be supplied to Ernakulam Government Medical College, Ernakulam General Hospital and PVS-Government Covid Apex Center for a period of two months, the company said.
"Expected quantity to be supplied through this is approximately 90 tonnes. This supply shall be free of cost under CSR /CER initiative of BPCL & Prodair Air Products," it said.
(With PTI input)