Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday chaired a high-level meeting to review the progress of augmentation and availability of oxygen supply across the country as the delta plus COVID variant has caused fears of a potential third wave in India.
Moloy Banerjee, Head- Gases at Linde South East Asia Services, discussed the current oxygen supply situation and the plan, going forward.
Banerjee said there are regular engagements going on with the government for these.
On the current oxygen demand, he said, “In terms of oxygen demand, taking the reference point of the peak that happened when we were at the height of COVID around mid-May – at that time Linde was supplying about 3,000 tonnes per day of oxygen out of overall country demand of roughly 9,700 tonnes per day. The supply that we are doing today has come down to 650 tonnes per day.”
“As far as the third wave of COVID is concerned, a lot depends on how vaccination happens. If we go by the SUTRA model that has been quite accurate in predicting what happened in the first and second wave of COVID-19 then that says the third wave will happen during Diwali time - between September and October.”
“The planning is being done on the basis of a worst case scenario - so against the 10,000 tonnes per day, the planning is currently being done to supply up to 15,000 tonnes per day,” he added.
“The gas companies like us and also the steel and refineries, which have their own oxygen plants are being asked to look at various ways and means to ramp up their oxygen production that should add another 1,100-1,500 tonnes per day and then 1,500 tonnes new PSAs that the government is planning should add another 2,000 tonnes per day. So, overall maybe 13,500 tonnes per day looks like doable,” Banerjee further mentioned.
For the full interview, watch the accompanying video.
(Edited by : Bivekananda Biswas)
First Published: IST