Amid India's battle against the second Covid wave, the arrival of three massive cryogenic oxygen tankers from Thailand at Hyderabad's Begumpet airport should come as a big relief for Telangana to supply medical oxygen to patients.
These tankers are being brought by a defence aircraft that was flown from Chandigarh to Bangkok where the tankers are being loaded. They were then flown to Hyderabad.
This is the first batch of 11 cryogenic oxygen tankers being imported by Hyderabad-based infrastructure conglomerate Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited.
The tankers are being given free of cost to the state government, MEIL said.
Each cryogenic tanker has a capacity of 20,000 litres and can supply up to 1.4 crore litres of medical oxygen. Seven more tankers are expected to arrive in two consignments over the next few days.
Several deaths in the last few weeks have been linked to shortage of medical oxygen in Delhi, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Goa ever since India's fight against the second wave started.
Oxygen shortage experienced in recent weeks at hospitals is not just because of limited availability of medical oxygen but also because of limitations in vehicles needed to transport the oxygen.
A press statement from Megha Engineering said that "to fabricate a cryogenic tanker it takes up to three months", and the import of cryogenic tankers has cut short that time and facilitated bulk movement of medical oxygen to hospitals.
The firm also said they have put all their other operations on hold in order to augment oxygen supply to Telangana. Its manufacturing unit in Bollarum is producing and supplying medical oxygen to other states and also to Odisha.
From May 9 to May 21, MEIL said, they supplied 29,694 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen which translates to 3 crore litres of oxygen.
Cryogenic oxygen is stored at -196 degrees centigrade with an option for low and high pressure. The cryogenic air separation reportedly achieves high level of purity of more than 99.5 per cent that can be put to medical and industrial use.