In view of the pan India impact of the second wave of coronavirus pandemic across the country and the manifold rise in oxygen demand for both medical facilities and for home treatment of patients, the Ministry of Power has undertaken a number of pro-active preventive and remedial measures to ensure that there is the uninterrupted power supply to Oxygen Plants by the State Utilities. Ministry of Power is monitoring the power supply to 73 major identified Oxygen Plants across the country out of which 13 Oxygen Plants supply oxygen to the NCR region. The proactive measures which have been put in place are :
- Daily Review by Secretary, Power: The position of power supplies to all such plants is reviewed every day at the level of Secretary, Ministry of Power, along with the concerned Energy Secretaries of the States, CMD, POSOCO on a case by case basis. All issues related to 24×7 power supply to Oxygen Plants are discussed threadbare during the daily reviews and interventions are planned and executed in a time-bound manner through the State Discoms aided by POSOCO and Central Electricity Authority.
- Round the Clock (RTC) operation of Control Room : As a part of corrective action strategy, a 24 hours oxygen plant control room (OPCR) and an Internal Control Group (ICG) has been set up at REC Limited which are tasked with maintaining liaison with the Oxygen plan nodal officers for ensuring 24X7 Power supply to these plants; and to ensure that interruptions, if any, are addressed on an immediate basis both on the DISCOM side as well as on the Plant’s Electrical installation side. Disruptions , if any, in Power Supply are analysed by Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) together with various utilities in the states (STU & DISCOM), SLDCs and POWERGRID, and specific preventive advisories are issued.
- Preventive Measures for ensuring 24×7 Power Supply : As a part of preventive action, advisories have been issued to the States for best practices adoption to all electricity lines feeding the plants. This includes building of suitable redundancies, and isolation of feeders supplying electricity to the oxygen plants. Some of the corrective measures advised included resetting of relays at the Barotiwala plant (Himachal Pradesh) and Kerala Mineral & Metal plant (Kerala); and, laying of a 132kV underground cable for the oxygen plant at Salequi (Uttarakhand) in the stretch prone to bird fault .
- Technical Audit of Power Supply and Proactive implementation of Remedial Measures :
▪ Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) has also been tasked with carrying out a technical audit of the power supply of each Oxygen plant particularly those supplying oxygen to NCR . The audit includes assessing the nature of power supply, the source(s) of power supply , availability of alternative arrangements, relay settings, etc. The audit reports further include both short term measures to improve the power supply along with long term measures. So far, 13 plants that are supplying oxygen to Delhi & NCR region have been audited.
▪ Based on the technical audit reports, Ministry of Power has written to State Governments of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Haryana, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh pointing out the remedial measures which need to be taken by the respective State Utilities to ensure uninterrupted power supply. Letter has also been written to DVC for carrying out maintenance of its sub-stations supplying power to the oxygen plants within its jurisdiction.
▪ Further, additional 20 plants have been audited and the technical audit results are being shared with the respective State Governments for urgent necessary action. The technical audit of rest of the plants is likely to be completed in the next 7 days.
The aforementioned proactive and holistic approach of the Ministry of Power coupled with the actions initiated by the State Governments on the basis of the inputs provided by the Ministry as also action initiated at their own level have together not only ensured that there are fewer trippings in power supply but have also resulted in sensitising the Oxygen Manufacturers about the proactive steps to be taken at their level for ensuring that there are no interruptions within their premises . These manifold strategies have helped in ensuring that oxygen plants produce oxygen to their fullest capacities, without loss in valuable production hours.