Uttar Pradesh (UP) has started the process to set up 350 oxygen generation plants in government hospitals across the state — a move aimed at preparing for a possible third wave of Covid-19. The plants will together have a capacity to generate over three lakh litres of oxygen per minute (LPM).
Bids have been invited by the UP government for this project. Under it, a vendor will provide a captive-use oxygen supply solution — inclusive of supply, installation, testing and commissioning of medical oxygen generation plants in order to ensure adequate supply of quality medical grade oxygen and also manage day-to-day operations of the oxygen plants for a decade.
UP has fixed a deadline of two months for the 350 plants to be made operational once the orders are placed. Bids have been invited by June 8. Oxygen generation plants of different capacities, ranging from big ones with a capacity of 1,500 LPM for main district hospitals to smaller ones with a 500 LPM capacity, are being planned. The total capacity targeted is 3.2 lakh LPMs. UP suffered a shortage of oxygen during the second wave with the peak demand going above 1,200 metric tonnes (MTs) of oxygen a day. UP’s own production capacity was only 339 MTs, and it had to procure about 894 MTs from other states during the crisis. Once these 350 plants are up and running, UP will be far more than self-sufficient in terms of oxygen supply.
News18 had earlier reported UP’s plans to go self-sufficient in oxygen generation and offering incentives to firms that want to set up oxygen generation plants in the state. The UP Oxygen Production Incentive Policy, 2021 approved by the UP governor on May 16 offered incentives to the tune of a capital subsidy of up to 25% and a full waiver in stamp duty. In April, the PM-CARES fund had also allotted funds for the installation of 551 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) medical oxygen generation plants in public health facilities across the country. Earlier this year, PM-CARES had allotted money to set up 162 such plants in the country; most of them have now become operational. Some of the new plants in UP will be set up from the PM-CARES allocation, while the cost of the rest will be borne by the UP government.