Serum Institute commissions Oxygen Plant dedicated for Corona patients

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Serum Institute of India, under guidance of Adar Poonawala, successfully commissioned Oxygen Plant dedicated for Corona Patients, which will provide Oxygen Cylinder Facility Free Of Cost to hospitals and around 200 patients can be benefitted every day with this social initiative of Adar Poonawala.

Serum entrusted this challenging task to a Pune based company Primove Engineering Private Limited who stepped up to the challenge and completed the same within only 12 days ,a shortest period of time.

When the city of Pune crippled with shortage of Oxygen, the Administration gave out a call to institutes, industries and entrepreneurs to come out with all kinds of possible solutions to overcome the Oxygen supply crisis. Pune responded to the urgent call and many solutions were offered that helped tide over the crisis of Oxygen. Amidst a myriad of creative supply & logistics solutions, some went ahead to produce the Oxygen and created facilities for supplying cylinders to the needy hospitals. One such glorious example is what Serum Institute did.

Serum uses Oxygen for its own biological processes. For this purpose, it has its own oxygen concentrator units. Serum realized that it may have some surplus capacity of production of Oxygen and can possibly spare the same for medical oxygen supplies through cylinders. The problem was how to create the infrastructure required for such high pressure cylinder filling and commission it within the shortest time with all due permissions and clearances.

Serum entrusted this challenging task to a Pune based company Primove Engineering Private Limited who stepped up to the challenge and completed the same within a shortest period of time.

The facility established at Serum is capable of filling medical Oxygen cylinders every day. Oxygen is produced at a purity of more than 93% with required specifications as per the IS codes and FDA standards. Oxygen is being filled in cylinders at a pressure of 150 bar. One cylinder has a capacity of 7,000 liters of Oxygen. In hospitals, a typical patient needing oxygen requires about 2.5 liters of Oxygen per minute. It means that if a patient is on Oxygen for 24 hours, he or she would require about 3,500 liters of Oxygen per day. One Oxygen cylinder thus can cater to two patients a day. The facility created at Serum would undoubtedly service 200 patients a day additionally and help saving their lives!

The facility created at Serum is completely safe and easy to operate set-up. Primove has been an established player in the Oil & Gas field and has poured its experience working with high pressure gases to create a very safe and environmentally sustainable viable facility at Serum.

Our correspondent reached out to Director of Primove to learn about the project.

Rajesh Date, Executive Director of Primove expressed that handling of gases has been a primary domain of Primove since its inception. Primove has been active in the fields of LPG, Propane and CNG. During the past few years, Primove has developed its own technology for production of BioCNG (CBG) that can be produced from practically any biomass or organic waste that includes vegetable waste, municipal waste, agricultural residues like rice straw, cotton straw, soybean trash, cane trash, napier grass and variety of other substrates. Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) is extensively used by Primove for purification of biogas to separate out Methane from CO2. The similar PSA is used to generate Oxygen by separation of Nitrogen. In response to the call for solutions for Oxygen supplies, Primove stepped up and delivered the solution to Serum. Date narrated that it had been a motto of Primove to do ‘Projects that Matter’ and it takes pride that it could contribute to make this project come to reality. Date further informed that it has already received many orders and enquiries for similar set-ups and Primove would shortly deliver the plants to these customers.

Serum Director Kedar Gokhale expressed that it was a desire of the CEO Poonawala to support the hospitals to overcome the oxygen crisis and that motivated the whole team to make this project happen. The project was delivered from Concept to Commissioning within a matter of 12 days, which also involved importation of the oil free compressor required for boosting pressure, he informed.

Both Gokhale and Date expressed their gratitude to the Government Authorities involved who accorded permissions and licenses for the project expeditiously. Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) allotted approval and license within 3 days time, they informed. Food and Drug administration also accorded their approval within a day. Customs official at Mumbai International Airport Cargo terminus handed over air shipment within no time. With collective efforts and willingness of all to support a noble cause, this dream was actualized in an extremely short time, commented Gokhale. He further added that Serum has created this set-up as a service to the hospitals and as a chartable cause and not business.

It was learnt that a meeting of industries, scientists and experts was called by the Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao last week to understand the impediments and possible solutions to the Oxygen crisis of Pune division. Many action items were discussed and decided during the meeting and the Serum project is one of the outcome of the meeting action points.

Learning about the successful commissioning of Project at Serum, Rao congratulated Serum and Primove for implementing the project in the nick of time. Dr. Ashish Lele, Director NCL who was also a part of Divisional Commissioner expert panel complemented the project as an example of “Warp Speed Technology Deployment”.

It may surely be hoped that many such projects would be implemented soon to make Pune Oxygen AtmaNirbhar !

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