India’s steel output likely to be hit as more mills divert oxygen for medical use

Monday, 19 April 2021 12:08:20 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

It cannot be ruled out that Indian steel production will be negatively impacted at least in the short run as more domestic integrated steel producers commit to diverting oxygen from plants located at their facilities to hospitals and state governments, in order to tackle the second wave of the pandemic, SteelOrbis learned from steel companies on Monday, April 19. Steel majors like Tata Steel, ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel (AMNS), JSW Limited and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) have all committed to increasing the diversion of oxygen production to hospitals and state governments.

According to an official at AMNS, steel production is bound to be affected when oxygen used for steel making is diverted for medical usage, but life cannot have less priority over production.

The official said that AMNS has already diverted 300 mt of oxygen for medical use over the past week.

According to a statement by India’s steel ministry, there are about 28 oxygen production plants with steel mills and they are supplying about 1,500 mt daily and a stock of about 30,000 mt is being readied for supplies to hospitals.

JSW Limited’s Dolvi steel mill has already been supplying 185 mt of oxygen daily for use for medical purposes to Maharashtra, one of the worst-affected regions in the country.

Tata Steel’s response has been proactive to the increased demand for liquid medical oxygen and the company has been supplying as per the requirements given by various state governments, a Tata Steel official said. The company has reportedly committed to supplying 300 mt of oxygen daily for medical purposes.

On Sunday, India reported 161,500 new Covid-19 cases, the highest single-day spike, leading to a severe shortage of oxygen required for treatment, while the government has announced the imposition of restrictions on the use of oxygen on all except nine industries and is aggressively resorting to imports of oxygen.

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