New oxygen plant to become operational in Ernakulam

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The Ernakulam Government Medical College Hospital

Kochi: A PSA oxygen gas generator plant at the Ernakulam Government Medical College Hospital will start functioning in full capacity from Thursday.

The Rs 1.5-crore plant, with a capacity of producing 600 litres of oxygen a minute, is the smallest of the four PSA plants the Centre has allotted to the State. The plant will function round-the-clock. 

Oxygen plants using pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technology ensure continuous and uninterrupted supply with guaranteed purity. 

The decision to commission the plant on Thursday was made after a successful trial run two days ago. A quality test done in Delhi found the oxygen produced to be 94-95 per cent pure. 

The remaining three plants are being set up at the government-owned medical college hospitals in Thrissur, Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram. While the plant at Thrissur will have a maximum capacity to produce 1,500 litres of oxygen a minute, those at Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram have a capacity of 2,000 litres each. 

The Ernakulam plant will supply oxygen to patients, including those with COVID-19, admitted to eight wards of the Medical College Hospital. 

However, operation theatres, ICUs will get the life-saving compound distributed from liquid oxygen plants since they require purer form of oxygen, Dr Ganesh Mohan, Resident Medical Officer, said. 

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has on Wednesday written to the Centre for an urgent supply of 1,000 tonnes of liquid oxygen. 

Meanwhile, the State has intensified search for oxygen concentrators. They will also employ the PSA technology.

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