With medical oxygen in high demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vedanta group has offered to supply oxygen from its closed Sterlite copper plant at Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu.

The company has written separate letters to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary in this regard.

Vedanta said that the plant contains two oxygen plants with a combined production capacity of 1,050 tonnes of oxygen daily. “We would like to now offer these facilities for your use towards ensuring that there is no lack of this vital commodity in the nation,” Pankaj Kumar, CEO, Sterlite Copper, said in the letter.

The letter said that the company has also filed a petition to outline this offer of support in the Supreme Court, in view of the ongoing legal proceedings.

“We would be grateful to be allowed this opportunity to support the nation’s needs. Our staff stand prepared to get these two plants operational in the shortest possible time and begin dispatching oxygen to the critical areas as per your direction,” the letter said.

The oxygen plans are presently lying shut down to the orders passed by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the State government shutting down the copper smelter unit of the company, the letter said.

An official said that the company can produce liquid gas that can be transferred via tankers. Also, for gaseous form, the company has identified partners from Coimbatore who can get it done.