As India’s second wave of Covid-19 pandemic continues to escalate rapidly, existing supply chains are under enormous pressure in meeting the huge demand, especially to the most impacted parts of the nation. To address this critical need of the hour, Linde India and Praxair India are working on several large-scale initiatives in cooperation with the Government of India, relevant authorities, and industry partners at a national level.
To help ease bottlenecks in distribution, Linde in India has embarked on two major operations. The company is working closely with the Indian Railways for its Roll-On-Roll-Off (RO-RO) service for faster transportation of medical oxygen to most critical need areas. Empty tankers are being ferried closer to its plant locations, where they are filled-up with much needed oxygen and the supply is then transported via roadways to various parts of India.
Secondly, Linde is collaborating with its operations in the Asia Pacific, including in Singapore, China and Thailand, as well as various Indian industry partners to transport ISO cryogenic tankers from across the region to India. These containers can carry up to 20 tons of Liquid Oxygen over long distances, and upon arrival the containers will be conditioned and certified for liquid medical oxygen transport from Linde facilities. The tankers can also act as interim oxygen storages in remote areas that are facing oxygen scarcity.
As of today, 8 containers have arrived in India and many more are expected to over the next few weeks.
In addition, the company has taken steps to convert industrial volumes to medical oxygen ready to cater to the increasing need. Linde India and Praxair India Pvt. Ltd. collectively manage and operate several plants with Air Separation and manufacturing capabilities. These plants currently have a combined capacity of more than 2000 metric tonnes per day (MTPD) and are located across India. Both the companies are also converting their Liquid Nitrogen and Liquid Argon tankers to augment the oxygen transportation capacities.
Linde India and Praxair India Pvt. Ltd. have also fast-tracked installation works at partner hospitals to ease oxygen supply challenges there. Among others, they have recently installed a 20 KL tank at GMERS Medical College, Junagadh, Gujarat. GMERS Medical College, Junagadh and another 20 KL tank at Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute, Lucknow.
These are just some of the initiatives that Linde India and Praxair India Pvt. Ltd. are currently working on, and the company is currently having discussions with additional multiple stakeholders and industry partners so that more containers and necessary equipment can be brought into the country.
Moloy Banerjee, Head Gases – South Asia, Linde South Asia Services Private Limited said, “As part of Empowered Group 2 (EG2), we are closely working with Government of India to produce and supply medical oxygen to various parts of the country. All possible efforts are being undertaken to address supply and transportation challenges and we are thankful to our international counterparts and industry partners such as the ITC Group, Tata Group and many more such organizations that are coming forward to lend their support in executing these initiatives. We are committed to support the government in this fight against the debilitating pandemic and will continue to explore other avenues to help address the challenges emerging during these trying times.”