A new air separation unit (ASU) launched at Feruka Oil Refinery, Zimbabwe, is set to support the country’s high demand for medical oxygen and also reduce its oxygen and industrial gas import bill, the Zimbabwe Independent reports.

The plant, launched yesterday (23rd August 2021) by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, will be able to produce 20 tonnes of gaseous oxygen, 16.5 tonnes of liquid oxygen and 2.5 tonnes of nitrogen per day.

The Zimbabwe Independent included a comment by Mnangagwa during his keynote address, he said, “And we are told that within one week, they can produce what we require in this country.”

Launched alongside a 3MW (megawatt) solar power plant designed by Verify Engineering, the ASU was purchased from India for US$10m. The unit is set to make the country less reliant on foreign aid and increase its self-sufficiency ahead of a possible fourth wave of Covid-19.