The chief minister of the Indian state of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel has appealed to the union government to allow industrial use of oxygen in the state. Most of the oxygen produced in the state is being diverted for medical use.
In a letter to the Union Minister for Industries and Commerce Piyush Goyal, he has asked for an 80:20 ratio between medical and industrial use, according to local media. The union minister has assured the chief minister that the government will consider his appeal.
The total oxygen production capacity of various units in Chhattisgarh is 462mt per day, most of which is supplied to the steel mills by the oxygen manufacturers. However, due to the sudden spike in COVID-19 cases, the union government had banned the industrial use of oxygen to ensure supplies for medical purpose.
A few steel mills in Raipur expect the supply of oxygen to mills to be restored gradually in the next few days. Steel producers in the city have either shut or curtailed operations due to a lack of oxygen since mid-April. Steel production is also impacted due to labour issues and moderate domestic steel demand. Meanwhile, some mills have turned to the export market. A steel mill recently sold 3,000mt billets to Nepal. The deal price is expected at around $600/mt loaded to rake Raipur.