BENGALURU: As a precautionary measure to counter a likely third covid wave, the Rail Wheel Factory (RWF) in Yelahanka will shortly inaugurate an Oxygen Cylinder bottling plant that can supply Medical Grade Oxygen for 106 cylinders a day. The move, planned three months ago, has received a much awaited Compressor from Italy recently.
The total project cost is around Rs 75 lakh including compressor, pipelines, testing equipment and other items. The RWF supplies wheels and axles to Indian Railways.
RWF General Manager Rajiv Kumar Vyas told The New Indian Express, “Considering the likely onset of the third wave, RWF has geared up and upgraded its oxygen plant. This will cater to the Railway hospitals inside RWF and the Bengaluru Division, State government and private hospitals based on emergency requirement.”
RWF has a plant for manufacturing industrial grade high purity oxygen for its internal use. The plant was commissioned in 2009 and is fully utilised to melt steel to prepare train wheels in its Wheel Shop.
RWF received several requests for medical oxygen during the second wave of COVID-19, the GM said. “However, the oxygen produced by RWF is in gaseous state and the outlet pressure (BAR) is 12 kilograms per square centimetre. Oxygen gas at 150 BAR is required for bottling the medical oxygen cylinders. The air separation process method will now be used to compress the oxygen to a pressure of 150 BAR using a special oxygen compressor, for which an order was placed in Italy. It has arrived recently. It is in being installed now along with associated manifolds and bottling equipment,” he explained.
This type of compressor is of specialised design and there was a huge demand for all over the world for such compressors, Vyas added.
The bottling plant will have capacity to fill about 6 cylinders per hour, and staff will work in two shifts per day.
The approval from the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) in Nagpur and the State government has already been obtained to install the plant, he said.