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JSPL's steel output to fall by 15% due to diversion of oxygen for medical purposes: Chairman Naveen Jindal

Updated : April 27, 2021 18:47:48 IST

With India's daily COVID cases remaining above the 3 lakh mark, help continues to pour in from around the world.

After getting off a call with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last night, US President Joe Biden tweeted, "Today I spoke with Prime Minister Modi and pledged America's full support to provide emergency assistance and resources in the fight against COVID-19. India was there for the US and we will be there for them."

The US administration has promised to send oxygen supplies, raw materials for vaccine, lifesaving drugs and PPE kits as part of its aid package.

Separately a shipment of 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators have arrived from the UK while France has said it will send 8 high capacity oxygen generators, liquid oxygen, 28 ventilators and ICU equipment.

Most recently, Bhutan has also joined the long list of countries offering aid to India. The neighbouring country has confirmed that it will supply 40 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen from one of its factories that borders Assam.

In India, Supreme Court allowed Vedanta Sterlite's plant in Tuticorin to reopen till July 15 but only for the production of oxygen.

What has also come as a relief for hospitals in Delhi is that the special Oxygen Express train from the Jindal Steel plant in Raipur arrived in the capital today and oxygen has been sent to various hospitals.

A separate Oxygen Express has left from Bokaro in Jharkhand for Madhya Pradesh. In fact, the CII has today said that it has formed a task force for oxygen supply chain that will work with both the Centre as well as the states to augment supply of medical oxygen.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18 managing editor Shereen Bhan, chairman of Jindal Steel & Power, Naveen Jindal said, "We are already supplying more than 100 tonnes of liquid oxygen per day. We have 4000 tonnes of oxygen capacity per day but only 3-4 percent is liquid oxygen. We are also depleting our storage, we have cut back on steel production but whatever tankers we are able to organise, we are filling them up and on priority we are dispatching it all over the country."

"Due to diversion of oxygen, our steel production in the blast furnaces goes down- it goes down by around 10-15 percent. Also steel making goes down by 10-15 percent but we are happy to pay this cost to be able to save lives", he said.

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