BHUBANESWAR/MUMBAI, MAY 1, 2021
As India grapples with an unprecedented new wave of the Covid Pandemic, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has scaled up its production of medical grade liquid oxygen, thus becoming the country’s largest producer of this life-saving resource from a single location in just over a year’s time.
Traditionally, Reliance is not a manufacturer of medical grade liquid oxygen. Yet, starting from Nil before the pandemic, the company is its largest producer in the country from a single location. At its refinery-cum-petrochemical complex in Jamnagar and other facilities, RIL now produces over 1000 MT per day – or 11 per cent of India’s total production – meeting the needs of nearly every one in ten patients.
Under the personal supervision of Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, at Jamnagar, Reliance has adopted a two-pronged approach to strengthen the availability of medical oxygen in India. The company is refocusing several industrial processes at Reliance’s Jamnagar and other facilities for rapid scale-up in production of medical grade liquid oxygen. Also, RIL is augmenting loading and transportation capacities to ensure its swift and safe supplies to states.
Commenting on the initiatives, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited, said: “For me and for all of us at Reliance, nothing is more important than saving every life as India battles against a new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an immediate need to maximise India’s production and transportation capacities for medical grade oxygen.”
“I am proud of our engineers at Jamnagar who have worked tirelessly, with a great sense of patriotic urgency, to meet this new challenge. I am truly humbled by the determination and sense of purpose shown by the bright, young members of the Reliance family who have once again risen to the occasion and delivered when India needs it the most.”
Nita Ambani, Founder-Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, said: “Our country is going through an unprecedented crisis. We at Reliance Foundation will continue to do everything we can to help. Every life is precious. Our plants at Jamnagar refinery have been repurposed overnight to produce medical grade liquid oxygen that is being distributed across India. Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow countrymen and women. Together, we will overcome these difficult times.”
Prior to this pandemic, Reliance was not a manufacturer of medical grade liquid oxygen. However, RIL engineers quickly reconfigured and optimised current operations – designed for Refining and Petrochemicals grade oxygen – to produce high-purity medical oxygen.
Medical grade liquid oxygen has to be produced in liquid form at – (minus) 183 degree C with almost 99.5 per cent purity, which poses extraordinary challenges and risks in production and maximising tonnage. RIL through process optimisation and modifications of Cryogenic Air Separation Units, was able to maximise production of medical grade liquid oxygen in a very short span of time.
This oxygen is being provided free-of-cost to several State Governments across the country to bring immediate relief to over 1 lakh patients on a daily basis. Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, Reliance has supplied over 55,000 MT of medical grade liquid oxygen across the country.
The company also converted nitrogen tankers into transport trucks for medical grade oxygen, through innovative and safe processes to address the problem of transportation. Reliance organised the airlifting of 24 ISO containers into India from Saudi Arabia, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Thailand adding 500 MT of new transportation capacity for liquid Oxygen. These ISO containers will help in removing the transport constraints for Oxygen in the country. In addition, Reliance is airfreighting more ISO containers over the next few days.
“We would like to offer our sincere thanks to Aramco, BP and IAF for their immense help in providing and transporting ISO containers to help the country in its battle against Covid,” the Company statement read.