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Ballari: Oxygen production may resume in full in 24 hours

The production of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) on the premises of steel giant JSW Steel in Toranagal, Ballari district, which has fallen by over 150 tonnes, is expected to resume fully in less than 24 hours.

According to information provided by the authorities, Air Water Separation Ltd., one of the four companies that had an agreement with JSW Steel to produce and supply oxygen to the steel maker, has stopped working because of technical issues. It is expected that another 12-15 hours will be taken for the plant to fix the glitches and resume production. Linde Gas India (earlier called Praxair), BOC India Ltd., and Industrial Gases Pvt. Ltd. continued production as usual.

“Air Water Separation has not been working since yesterday. The supply of LMO from JSW Steel premises has thus fallen by 150 tonnes a day. Work on fixing the problem is on in full force and it may take another 12 or 15 hours for the plant to resume production,” said Manjunath Prabhu, senior officer at JSW Steel’s Vijayanagara Works at Toranagal, Ballari district.

Apart from producing and supplying oxygen to JSW Steel, the four companies together produce between 120 tonnes and 150 tonnes of LMO a day normally and supply it to various hospitals across the country. During the first wave of COVID-19 last year, the production of LMO had risen to 200 tonnes a day, hitting around 430 tonnes a day by September. The production again dropped to around 130 tonnes a day in February and March this year owing to the fall in demand. However, when the second wave of the pandemic began in April, the LMO production was again increased to over 400 tonnes.

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