Considering increase in demand for medical oxygen in different parts of the country during the second wave of the Covid-19, India has started ‘Project O2’ to augment the country’s ability to meet this rise in demand of medical oxygen.
The project targeted to meet the current demand, manufacturing of medical oxygen as well as ensure that there is adequate supply of the lifesaving gas in the future.
‘Project O2’ being run under direct command of the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to enable stakeholders working to augment the country’s ability to meet this rise in demand for medical oxygen.
Under the project, a National Consortium of Oxygen is enabling the national level supply of critical raw materials such as zeolites, setting up of small oxygen plants, manufacturing compressors and final products like oxygen plants, concentrators, and ventilators.
The consortium is not only looking forward to providing immediate to short-term relief but also working to strengthen the manufacturing ecosystem for long-term preparedness, said a statement issued by the office of Principal Scientific Advisor.
A committee of experts has been evaluating critical equipment such as oxygen plants, concentrators, and ventilators, from a pool of India-based manufacturers, start-ups, and MSMEs (in partnership with FICCI, MESA, etc).
The manufacturing and supply consortium also includes Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL); Tata Consulting Engineers (TCE); C-CAMP, Bengaluru; IIT Kanpur (IIT-K); IIT Delhi (IIT-D);IIT Bombay (IIT-B), IIT Hyderabad (IIT-H); IISER, Bhopal; Venture Center, Pune; and more than 40 MSMEs.
The consortium has started to secure CSR/philanthropic grants from organizations like USAID, Edwards Life sciences Foundation, Climate Works Foundation, etc.
Hope Foundation, American Indian Foundation, Walmart, Hitachi, BNP Paribas, and eInfoChips are procuring oxygen concentrators and VPSA/PSA plants as part of their CSR efforts to aid the consortium’s work.
NMDC Ltd has agreed to fund the procurement of raw materials like zeolite for the manufacturers in the consortium.