Oxygen production at Sterlite Copper smelter hits technical snag

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Chennai: Oxygen production at Sterlite Copper smelter hits a technical snag. Oxygen production at Vedanta Ltd’s copper smelter plant – Sterlite Copper- in Thoothukud was affected due to a technical snag, the company said on Friday.

“A technical snag has developed in the cold box at our oxygen plant in Thoothukudi, leading to a temporary pause in production. The possibility of minor technical fluctuations was anticipated given that the plant has been unattended for three years,” the company said in a statement.

According to Vedanta, a technical group has been stationed on-site from day one to monitor the situation and provide real-time solutions for resuming production at the earliest.

“We plan to return to stabilized production soon,” the company said.

On Thursday the company said one of its oxygen plants commenced production from May 12.

“The first tanker carrying 4.8 tons of liquid oxygen is going to Tirunelveli/Thoothukudi. We will be dispatching two oxygen tankers on a daily basis, to begin with, and gradually scale this up as we expand production,” Vedanta had said.

According to Vedanta, the oxygen supplied was 98.6 percent purity and has received the necessary medical-grade certifications.

“My team members and I are honored that our facility and efforts are being directly put into helping save lives. We promise to make every possible effort to ensure that there is continuous production of oxygen from our plant to mitigate this crisis,” Pankaj Kumar, CEO, Sterlite Copper had said.

Vedanta had earlier said it has about 1,050 to oxygen plant at Sterlite Copper and it is committed to making the entire capacity available for producing medical grade oxygen.

The company had approached the Supreme Court to allow it to protect and maintain its important assets in the smelter plant and permit it to produce 1,050 tonnes of oxygen and supply freely to nearby hospitals and to other states.

The Tamil Nadu government had ordered the closure of the copper smelter plant in 2018 following a violent protest that led to the death of 13 persons in police firing.

The 400,000 ton Sterlite copper smelter plant has been operating in Thoothukudi for over 25 years with a cumulative investment of about Rs 3,000 crore.

–IANS

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