The Indian Embassy in Bhutan announced on Tuesday, that the Indian state of Assam will receive Oxygen from an oxygen plant at Samdrup Jongkhar, a town at the border of Bhutan. "In the context of the present COVID situation, Bhutan will supply liquid oxygen to India from a new plant being set up at the Motanga Industrial Estate, Samdrup Jongkhar district by M/s S.D. Cryogenics Gases Pvt. Ltd., a Bhutanese company", quoted the statement, issued by the Indian Embassy in Bhutan.
The statement further added, "Every day, forty metric tonnes of liquid oxygen produced by the Oxygen Plant will be exported to Assam using cryogenic tankers. The oxygen plant has domestic investment of 51% by M/s S D Cryogenics and FDI component of 49% by Meghalaya Oxygen Pvt. Ltd., an Assam-based Indian company".
The statement then expressed that the provision of oxygen by Bhutan will augment India’s efforts to win the fight against COVID-19 and save precious lives. "This is a practical manifestation of the uniquely close and friendly ties between India and Bhutan", read the statement.
The Minister of Health and Family Welfare in Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, informed in a press conference on Tuesday, that officials of India and Bhutan had talks with each other to complete the construction of the plant. Sarma said that the External Affairs Minister of India, S. Jaishankar had discussions with Bhutan and consequently a decree has been issued by the neighbouring sub-continent, stating that the work on the plant shall continue even if lockdown is imposed. Sarma assured that the plant will be ready in the next 45 days.
Sarma also informed that the daily Oxygen requirement in Assam for COVID-19 patients stands at 20 MT and the state currently has a capacity to produce 61 MT of Oxygen per day. Besides, the total Oxygen storage capacity of Assam is recorded to be 468 MT.
It should be mentioned here that the state of Assam has reported 3,132 COVID-19 positive cases on Tuesday, as informed by Health Minister Sarma. 18 deaths were recorded on the day in the state. The overall positivity percentage of Assam with respect to total COVID-19 tests done, stands at 5%.