JSW Group Chairman Sajjan Jindal on Tuesday said saving life is more important than producing steel and JSW would ramp up supply of liquid medical oxygen to fulfil the shortage of the life-saving gas amid sharp rise in COVID cases.
Signalling a production cut, he said the output can suffer for as long as the country is in need of any resource available with the company.
On the directions of the steel ministry, steel plants in the country are supplying liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to various states amid rising demand for the gas, being used for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
In a statement, Jindal said he would maximise the supply of oxygen from his plants to save the lives of fellow Indians.
“Saving lives is more important than producing steel and production can suffer for as long as the country is in need of any resource available with the company,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Steel, steel plants have reduced their oxygen stock to just half a day from 3.5 days earlier to fulfil the shortage of the life-saving gas being used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Steel plants usually keep a minimum stock of over three days of liquid oxygen from which in an emergency situation gaseous oxygen is extracted and sent for steel making process.
Jindal further said that large COVID centres are being built on an emergency basis around its plants where JSW is laying a dedicated pipeline to supply gaseous oxygen directly to the patients. This, Jindal said, will avoid the dependency on liquid oxygen.
“If oxygen in such huge quantities cannot be taken to the patients, then we must bring the patients closest to the oxygen source,” he said.
JSW Steel has already announced it will be increasing its daily oxygen supply limit to 900 tonne/day by the end of this month.