Bengaluru: As per a company official’s statement, oxygen production at Vedanta Ltd's copper smelter plant or Sterlite Copper located in Thoothukudi was restarted.

With the disruption being rectified, the work has now resumed.

"The oxygen generated is being stored at our onsite facilities and will be distributed as per the directions of the State government and concerned nodal officers," the company statement said. 

Oxygen production at Sterlite Copper was hit due to technical snag in the cold box on 14 May, as reported by Swarajya. 

It added that an expert team from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) visited Sterlite Copper and suggested measures to set right the technical snag that halted oxygen production.

Subsequently oxygen production was re-started.

According to the company official, Sterlite Copper has 1,050 tpd oxygen production capacity of which 200 tpd will be liquid oxygen and the balance is in gaseous form.

The existing infrastructure has the potential to transport 200-250 tpd medical oxygen to various hospitals.

To utilise the balance capacity of the unit for the medical usage, Vedanta is looking for business partners to study and provide a solution to transport 800 tpd oxygen which is available in gaseous form at 4.5 bar pressure to various hospitals in the state.

Vedanta had started oxygen production at Sterlite Copper recently to supply to hospitals to meet the needs due to the spread of Covid-19 pandemic across the country.

The Tamil Nadu government had ordered the closure of the copper smelter plant in 2018 following a violent protest that led to the death of 13 persons in police firing.

The Supreme Court had allowed the company to operate its oxygen plant recently.

The 400,000 tonne Sterlite copper smelter plant has been operating in Thoothukudi for over 25 years with a cumulative investment of about Rs 3,000 crore but was closed after the violence and opposition by locals.