Major industrial gas companies have increased local production of oxygen and are importing supplies in response to the oxygen crisis in India amid a surge of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases.

A worker refilling medical oxygen cylinder for Covid-19 patients at a gas supplier filling station in New Delhi, India, this week

Hospitals in Delhi are under extreme pressure as coronavirus cases in India continue to rise on a daily basis. India is reporting 300,000 infections and almost 3,000 deaths every day, but the situation is thought to be worse than those figures. There are recurring reports from hospitals in India of hospitals low or even without oxygen to treat Covid-19 patients.

Medical supplies from overseas have begun to arrive in India to help with the concerns over oxygen availability and the World Health Organisation is working to deliver 4,000 oxygen concentrators to India, according to reports.

Industrial gas giant Air Liquide says it has increased its production of medical oxygen in India by four and is helping to deliver 200 tonnes of liquid oxygen from abroad.

Air Liquide says all production of liquid oxygen in India is dedicated to medical usage at the moment.

Air Liquide said in a social media post, “In a context where Air Liquide has a regional presence in the country and mostly in two regions (north and west), we are exploring all possibilities to bring more oxygen to Indian patients, including imports.”

The French company is working on a solution to import liquid oxygen from abroad into India which would allow “a daily supply for up to 10,000 patients”.

Air Liquide added, “A first convoy will take place in a few days: five large cryogenic mobile containers - today in service in Europe - will be flown to the Middle-East by the services of the French Government. From there, the Air Liquide group will fill the first containers, then the oxygen will be transported by sea to India. In total, the equivalent of about 200 tonnes of liquid oxygen will be delivered to the Indian hospitals by Air Liquide in coordination with the Indian health authorities.”

Source: INOX Air Products

ISO containters ready for transport to India this week

Air Liquide’s US rival Air Products is allocating resources and assets from its operations around the world to support and maximise the supply and distribution of oxygen within India.

Air Products, which is supporting its joint venture partner INOX Air Products, said in a statement, “We are liaising with government agencies and other local logistics experts to deliver multiple ISO liquid oxygen containers to India by air. These large storage containers will then be filled with medical oxygen within India by INOX Air Products, who will coordinate their transport to needed areas.”

Steel giant Tata Steel said Wednesday it has further increased supplies of liquid medical oxygen to 800 tonnes per day, while ITC Limited is air freighting 24 cryogenic ISO containers from Asian countries in collaboration with Linde India Ltd.