Power Ministry writes to 7 States Suggesting Measures to Ensure Uninterrupted Power Supply to Oxygen Plants

The Ministry of Power has written a letter to the seven State Governments including 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 the uninterrupted (24x7) power supply to the oxygen plants in the country.

May 13, 2021. By Manu Tayal

The Ministry of Power has written a letter to the seven State Governments including 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 the uninterrupted (24x7) power supply to the oxygen plants in the country.

The letter has been written based on the technical audit reports. It has also written a letter to DVC for carrying out maintenance of its sub-stations supplying power to the oxygen plants within its jurisdiction.

The move is among the several proactive preventive and remedial measures taken by the Power Ministry after manifold rise in oxygen demand for both medical facilities and for home treatment of patients amidst second wave of corona virus pandemic across the country.

The Ministry said that it has been monitoring power supply to 73 major identified oxygen plants across the country out of which 13 oxygen plants supply oxygen to NCR region.

The major proactive measures of Power Ministry includes - Daily Review by Secretary, Power, Round the Clock (RTC) operation of Control Room, Preventive Measures for ensuring 24x7 Power Supply, and Technical Audit of Power Supply and Proactive implementation of Remedial Measures.

In line with this, Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) has been directed to carry out a technical audit of power supply of each Oxygen plant particularly those supplying oxygen to NCR. The audit includes assessing the nature of power supply, sources of power supply, availability of alternative arrangements, relay settings, etc.

Further, the audit reports also 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, the Ministry said.

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, it added.

In the Daily Review by Secretary, Power, the position of power supplies to all such plants has been reviewed daily at Secretary, Ministry of Power level, along with concerned Energy Secretaries of the States, CMD, POSOCO on a case by case basis. All issues related to 24x7 power supply to Oxygen Plants have been discussed during the daily reviews and interventions have been planned and executed in a time bound manner Via State Discoms aided by POSOCO and Central Electricity Authority.

As 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 Ltd which have been 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, have been 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 have been analysed by POSOCO together with various utilities in the states (STU & DISCOM), SLDCs and POWERGRID, and specific preventive advisories have been issued.

As 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.

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