Demand for oxygen has dropped to around 80 tonnes a day as against 130 tonnes earlier when cases were at peak in Indore. Amid a shortage of oxygen and surge in Covid-19 cases, industries with oxygen plants and refillers were roped in to meet the demand by diverting supplies for medical use and banning use of oxygen for industrial purposes except for pharmaceutical firms.
Rohan Saxena, executive director, Madhya Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation (MPIDC), Indore said, “We are now requiring around 80 tonnes of oxygen per day, earlier our demand was close to 130 tonnes. Our requirement has come down but we are keeping a close eye on the situation. If the surplus status continues, we may shortly resume oxygen supplies to industries.”
Earlier this month, oxygen supplies were resumed at ten injectable manufacturing units of Indore and Pithampur, with a cap on per week consumption. Around half-a-dozen units in Pithampur, including air separation units and refillers were operating round the clock to meet oxygen demand in Indore and near by districts.
Vikas Jain, director at an air separation unit at Pithampur said, “Demand for oxygen cylinders has dropped by over 50% from our unit. Major fall in demand is seen from hospitals of Indore but still, some demand is there from other districts and small towns. Still, we are providing close to 300 oxygen cylinders mainly to hospitals in nearby towns.”
Air separation units have cut down on shifts amid the fall in demand while those having plants are utilising the surplus for captive use.
Mayur Shah, general manager at an ASU at Pithampur said, “Demand for oxygen cylinders has dropped to negligible. Initially, when we started, per day requirement was close to 900 cylinders but now we are left with surplus which we are utilising for our own plant.”