COVID-19: Reliance becomes largest producer of medical-grade liquid oxygen from a single location

Reliance

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has rallied its resources “on a war footing” to deal with the current oxygen crisis in the country amid the deadly second wave of COVID-19, the company said in a statement on Saturday.

Reliance said it has now become India’s “largest producer of medical-grade liquid oxygen from a single location.” It said company chairman Mukesh Ambani is personally overseeing the expansion of production and transportation efforts in Gujarat’s Jamnagar.

“In April 2021, Reliance supplied over 15,000 MT of medical-grade liquid oxygen free of cost, helping nearly 15 lakh patients,” the statement read.

Reliance said it has scaled-up the production of medical-grade liquid oxygen from nearly zero to 1,000 MT per day to meet an average requirement of more than one lakh people daily. And this is all free of charge. Now accounting for more than 11% of the country’s medical-grade liquid oxygen production, Reliance is meeting the needs of around one in every ten COVID-19 patients, the company said.

Reliance

Regarding the transportation of this oxygen, Reliance said it has airlifted 24 ISO containers (certified by the International Organization for Standardization) for this purpose. The company said, this has added 500 MT of transportation capacity in India. “More ISO containers are being airlifted over the next few days,” Reliance said. It thanked Saudi Aramco, the Saudi oil company, British Petroleum (BP) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) for their help in sourcing and transportation.

Reliance had earlier said that it was by far the largest contributor to COVID-19 care in Mumbai of any philanthropic organisation, in the form of 875 beds for coronavirus patients. Additionally, the Reliance Foundation ordered the creation of new hospital wards and new ICU beds and decided to run a dedicated 650-bed COVID-19 care facility in the Worli area of the city, the company said.

Read Full Press Release Here:

As India grapples with an unprecedented new wave of the Covid Pandemic, Reliance Industries has risen to the occasion by making an all-out effort to save precious lives.
A critical need of the hour is assured availability of medical grade liquid oxygen for treatment of severely ill patients across the country.

Traditionally, Reliance is not a manufacturer of medical grade liquid oxygen. Yet, starting from Nil before the pandemic, Reliance Industries has now become India’s largest producer of this life-saving resource from a single location. At its refinery-cum-petrochemical complex in Jamnagar and other facilities, RIL now produces over 1000 MT of medical grade liquid oxygen per day — or over 11% of India’s total production – meeting the needs of nearly every one in ten patients.

Reliance

Under the personal supervision of Shri Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, at Jamnagar, Reliance has adopted a two-pronged approach to strengthen the availability of medical oxygen in India:

  • Refocusing several industrial processes at Reliance’s Jamnagar and other facilities for rapid scale-up in production of medical grade liquid oxygen.
  • Augmenting loading and transportation capacities to ensure its swift and safe supply to States and Union Territories across India.

Enhancing production of Medical Grade Oxygen at Reliance facilities

Prior to this pandemic, Reliance was not a manufacturer of medical grade liquid oxygen. However, RIL engineers quickly reconfigured and optimised current operations – designed for Refining and Petrochemicals grade oxygen – to produce high-purity medical grade oxygen.

Medical grade liquid oxygen has to be produced in liquid form at -183°C with almost *99.5% purity, which poses extraordinary challenges and risks in production and maximising tonnage.

Reliance engineers worked tirelessly and, through process optimisation and modifications of Cryogenic Air Separation Units, were able maximise production of medical grade liquid oxygen in a very short span of time.

Reliance has now been able to ramp up its production of medical grade oxygen from ZERO to 1000 MT per day, constituting more than 11% of the country’s total medical grade liquid oxygen production.

This oxygen is being provided free-of-cost to several State Governments across the country to bring immediate relief to over 1 lakh patients on a daily basis.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, Reliance has supplied over 55,000 MT of medical grade liquid oxygen across the country.

Ensuring swift supply of Oxygen

In addition to the production of high-quality medical grade liquid oxygen, the other challenge has been to quickly overcome the transportation bottleneck in supply of liquid oxygen to various parts of the country. This necessitated increasing the loading capacity for its safe and quick transportation.

To achieve this, Reliance engineers made smart logistical modifications to rail and road transport, such as laying parallel lines, using hoses, and loading up liquid tankers through pressure differential, since liquid oxygen pumps cannot be installed at short notice.

Reliance

In another innovation, Reliance converted nitrogen tankers into transport trucks for medical grade oxygen, through innovative and safe processes that were approved by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO), the relevant regulatory body of the Government of India.

Reliance organised the airlifting of 24 ISO containers into India from Saudi Arabia, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Thailand adding 500 MT of new transportation capacity for liquid Oxygen. These ISO containers will help in removing the transport constraints for medical grade liquid Oxygen in the country. In addition, Reliance is airfreighting more ISO containers over the next few days.

We would like to offer our sincere thanks to Aramco, BP and IAF for their immense help in providing and transporting ISO containers to help the country in its battle against Covid.

Commenting on these initiatives, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited, said: “For me and for all of us at Reliance, nothing is more important than saving every life as India battles against a new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an immediate need to maximise India’s production and transportation capacities for medical grade oxygen. I am proud of our engineers at Jamnagar who have worked tirelessly, with a great sense of patriotic urgency, to meet this new challenge. I am truly humbled by the determination and sense of purpose shown by the bright, young members of the Reliance family who have once again risen to the occasion and delivered when India needs it the most.”

Nita Ambani, Founder-Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, said: “Our country is going through an unprecedented crisis. We at Reliance Foundation will continue to do everything we can to help. Every life is precious. Our plants at our Jamnagar refinery have been repurposed overnight to produce medical grade liquid oxygen that is being distributed across India. Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow countrymen and women. Together, we will overcome these difficult times.”

About Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)

RIL is India’s largest private sector company, with a consolidated turnover of INR 659,205 crore ($87.1 billion), cash profit of INR 71,446 crore ($9.4 billion), and net profit of INR 39,880 crore ($5.3 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2020.
RIL’s activities span hydrocarbon exploration and production, petroleum refining and marketing, petrochemicals, retail and digital services.

RIL is the top-most ranked company from India to feature in Fortune’s Global 500 list of ‘World’s Largest Companies’ – currently ranking 96th. The company stands 71st in the ‘Forbes Global 2000’ rankings for 2019 – top-most among Indian companies. It ranks 10th among LinkedIn’s ‘The Best Companies to Work For In India’ (2019).

About Reliance Foundation

Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Reliance Industries Limited, aims to play a catalytic role in addressing the nation’s development challenges through innovative and sustainable solutions.

Led by Founder and Chairperson Nita Ambani, Reliance Foundation is relentlessly working towards facilitating transformative changes to ensure overall well-being and higher quality of life for all.

Among India’s largest social initiatives, Reliance Foundation is focused on addressing the nation’s development challenges in areas of Rural Transformation, Health, Education, Sports for Development, Disaster Response, Urban Renewal, and Arts, Culture and Heritage. Reliance Foundation has touched the lives of more than 45 million people across India, in more than 44,700 villages and several urban locations.

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