A National Consortium of Oxygen is enabling the supply of critical raw materials

With the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic leading to a sudden spike in the requirement for medical oxygen, the central government has launched 'Project 02 for India' to meet an increased demand in the future.

The project has been launched by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India, to enable stakeholders to augment the country’s ability to meet this rise in demand for medical oxygen, said an official press release on Sunday, provoliding details about different aspects of the initiative.

Under Project O2 for India, 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, final products, i.e.,oxygen plants, concentrators, and ventilators.

According to the press release issued by the office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India, 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.

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, the release pointed out.

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 and Climate Works Foundation. 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, the official release added.