The National Consortium of Oxygen will augment India's potential to generate and supply the life saving gas amid COVID threat.
In wake of the heightened demand for medical-grade oxygen during the second swell of the COVID pandemic, India has flagged off 'Project O2' as a nationwide campaign to bolster the country's potential to meet the increased needs. This project will also work on increasing the process of oxygen generation across the nation to ensure adequate supply in the future amid the threats of the upcoming third wave.
Under the project, a National Consortium of Oxygen has been established under the direct command of the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser, to streamline stakeholders for systematic production and distribution strategies.
Fulfilling India's short-term & long-time oxygen needs
India's newly launched 'Project O2' has been designed to augment the nation's oxygen manufacturing ability to ensure better availability of resources amid critical COVID hours. For this, a National Consortium of Oxygen has emerged as the nodal authority to manage, i.e to enable the supply of raw materials, production and distribution of the life-saving oxygen gas.
This body will look into the provision 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 office of the Principal Scientific Advisor informed that besides fulfilling the immediate and short-term needs, the consortium will also enable to create a solid manufacturing ecosystem for long time preparedness as well.
The stakeholders of the National Consortium of Oxygen
The National Consortium of Oxygen will be backed by a committee of experts. This agency will evaluate 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).
This manufacturing and supply consortium will further be assisted by 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.
As of now, the association has started to secure CSR/philanthropic grants from organizations like USAID, Edwards Life sciences Foundation, Climate Works Foundation among others. Besides this, 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 stepped forward to fund the procurement of raw materials like zeolite for the manufacturers in the consortium.