Impact of Ukrainian steelmakers on medical oxygen domestic market during COVID-19


Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for medical oxygen has increased worldwide. Oxygen has become a strategic resource to save people’s lives. Ukraine is no exception. In particular, it is confirmed by assessments of gasworld’s Business Intelligence department, whose research revealed that Ukraine’s medical oxygen demand more than doubled during the pandemic (from 140 – 150 metric tonnes per day to 350 – 380 metric tonnes per day).

The need for oxygen increased especially sharply in October-November 2021, when another outbreak of the coronavirus occurred in Ukraine. According to doctors, a patient with Covid-19 required 5-6 times more oxygen than during previous waves of the disease. In October the situation was also exacerbated by the shutdown for scheduled repairs of the two largest plants producing medical oxygen in Ukraine – Messer Group and Linde. In such conditions, the healthcare system was supported by industrial enterprises, some of which received a license to produce medical oxygen.

In October 2020 there were only six licensed producers of medical oxygen in Ukraine. In October 2021 medical oxygen was produced by 23 enterprises. Another 13 enterprises produced technical oxygen which parameters were similar to medical oxygen. In April 2021 the Ukrainian government has allowed the use of technical oxygen for medical treatment if technical oxygen meets medical requirements. So, in fact, 35 enterprises in Ukraine can produce oxygen for hospitals. The total capacities are around 400 tonnes daily.

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