Companies

Technical snag at Sterlite hits oxygen production

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on May 14, 2021

Thoothukudi District Collector K Senthil Raj flagging off the first tanker with 4.8 tonnes of oxygen from Sterlite Copper on Thursday, May 12, 2021. - Rajesh N

Output will stabilise soon, say officials

It was a busy Friday in Tamil Nadu with regard to medical oxygen. A technical snag temporarily halted oxygen production at Sterlite Copper plant at Thoothukudi; the first oxygen express arrived in Chennai as also four IAF aircrafts carrying oxygen cylinders from Singapore.

The halt in oxygen production at Sterlite comes two days after it was started on May 12. The first truck with oxygen left the plant on Thursday morning. The possibility of minor technical fluctuations was anticipated given that the plant has been unattended for three years, said a company press release.

In preparation of this scenario, a technical expert group has been onsite from Day One to monitor the situation and provide real time solutions for resuming production at the earliest. “We plan to return to stabilised production soon,” said the release.

Sources in the know said, “It’s a monstrous plant, which had been closed for three years with zero maintenance. In seven days, the plant was made operational. It was not easy especially with so many limitations due to the pandemic. Also, extraordinary care should be taken on safety issues.”

Oxygen Express

Meanwhile, the first Oxygen Express has reached Chennai from Durgapur with medical Oxygen for Covid-19 patients in Tamil Nadu even as the number of coronavirus cases in the State has been increasing on a day-to-day basis.

The train reached Tondiarpet Inland container depot at 2 am on Friday with 80 tonnes  of oxygen in four containers. Unloading of oxygen was also completed.

For the second Oxygen Express, three empty cryogenic tankers mounted on MBWT flat type wagons departed Tiruvallur on Thursday at 21:45 hours to Rourkela, Odisha, said a Southern Railway release.

Cylinders from Singapore

Also, four IAF aircrafts carrying oxygen cylinders from Singapore arrived at Chennai. Chennai Customs is working in close coordination with the State government to ensure the smooth and swift clearance of the life sustaining goods, says a tweet by the Department.

Published on May 14, 2021

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