Sewa International to build 100 oxygen generation plants in India

Houston (TX), May 26 (FN Agency) US-based Sewa International will be funding the installation of 100 oxygen generation plants in hospitals across India to ease oxygen scarcity in the country. It has ordered 20-tonn Zeolites (molecular sieves that absorb nitrogen and produce oxygen as a product) from Honeywell to establish up to 30 plants immediately. As part of these efforts, it has placed orders for 15 oxygen generation plants to be set up in the next 8-12 weeks at a cost of about $1.8 million, according to a statement released by Sewa International.

Sewa International has started a fundraising campaign to construct these oxygen plants. A donation of $61,000, $81,000 or $121,000 can help establish one such oxygen plant of a desired size. The campaign will help distribute oxygen generation capability equitably to different parts of the country bridging the urban and rural divide in India’s healthcare sector. “Based on our reading of the current situation, Sewa International has made a strategic decision to establish oxygen generating plants in India to enhance India’s capacity to face the present COVID-19 crisis. This will also make India future-ready to face a possible third wave of the pandemic,” said Arun Kankani, president of Sewa International. Sewa has identified three vendors from India to supply machinery required to build these plants. The first 15 plants will be a mix of 250 LPM and 500 LPM capacity and each can support about 20 to 40 ICU beds. Sewa International is working with forty to fifty hospitals across India to establish these plants. The number of hospitals we work with is expected to grow to more than 100 depending on support from donors.

“The primary targets for installing these oxygen generation plants are charitable hospitals in the rural and tribal areas and second and third tier cities. The plants, with good care and maintenance, have a life of twenty years,” Mukund Kute, Project Manager for Sewa’s oxygen generation plant initiative said. According to Kute, Sewa International has established technical team of experts and project managers to assist selected hospitals in seeking permits, setting up electrical systems, pipelines, and in constructing industrial workshops, training, etc., to install and operate such plants quickly and efficiently. “Sewa is going to be involved from concept to completion in installing these plants. Once operational, they will eliminate the need for transporting liquid oxygen from place to place. The Zeolites we have ordered from Honeywell are going to be shipped to India very soon. It is going to take about 10-14 weeks for these plants to become operational as some of the mechanical components required are on back order,” Sewa’s Vice President for Technology Services, Anil Deshpande said.

“One 500 LPM plant can support a 200-bed hospital with 40 ICU beds or can produce 110 cylinders of oxygen a day. Including site preparation expenses and taxes, one such plant would cost about $121,000. When we calculate the initial investment and annual maintenance costs, it will still work out to be less expensive for hospitals than buying oxygen cylinders or liquid oxygen from a vendor,” Deshpande said. India’s daily production capacity of oxygen is 7127 MT per day, and 46 percent of which is for industrial consumption and 3842 MT is used for medical consumption. Medical consumption is expected to increase to about 6,000 to 7,000 MT per day going forward with the current trajectory of COVID cases and any potential third wave of the pandemic. The more than 100 oxygen generation plants that Sewa International is planning to set up with the help of donors is going to help rural and semi-urban India prepare to face future challenges more confidently.