Visakhapatnam: The first Oxygen Express chugged off Steel Plant site on Thursday night for a journey of hope to alleviate the suffering of Covid patients in Maharashtra.
RINL, the only shore based integrated Steel plant on the Eastern coast , having its own captive Oxygen plant primarily for the process of steel making, has already supplied more than 9000 ton of LMO (Liquid Medical Oxygen) since the onset of COVID-19.
Besieged with the crisis of supplying LMO to far flung places like Maharashtra , soon after when the decision was made for transportation by Indian Railways on April 18, the RINL Collective sprung into action with active participation of Indian Railways .
Appreciating the urgency, the assessment of the Road and Rail logistics inside the plant, finalization Rail Track and the site for RORO facility was done on April 18 itself and a ramp for facilitating Roll On -Roll Off (RORO) services was constructed within thirty hours.
The first Oxygen Express from Maharashtra, with seven empty cryogenic tankers having a total carrying capacity of more than 100 Ton LMO, reached the plant site in early hours of Thursday at the newly built ramp within the plant premises opposite the new Wire Rod Mil-2. Out of seven tankers, four tankers were of 16 Ton capacity and
three were of 14 ton.
The tankers anchored to the flat wagons with clamps and D-shackles were in deflated tyre condition and tanks in pressurized condition of more than desired one Kg . Each (14 tyre mounted) tankers tyres were inflated with a mobile pressure Pump , De-clamped and pressure inside the tanks were brought down to one Kg before rolling out on
the road via ramp. From there, tankers were taken for pre -weighment and then to the filling station at ASP-1 and ASU-5. One tanker needed to be purged as earlier it was used for Nitrogen transportation. The filling from Oxygen was done following all safety protocols.
Controller of Explosives (AP & Pondicherry) officials inspected the Oxygen filling station and site of loading and briefed the personnel & crew members on various safety aspects. PK Rath, CMD, RINL and C K Shrivastava, Dvisional Railway Manager -Waltair of East Coast railway along with all Directors (RINL) and senior officials of East coast Railways & VSP visited the site to take stock and expedite the process of safe dispatch.
By evening, all the 7 tankers filled up with a total 102 tons of LMO were brought to the ramp and Roll On to the Flat wagon. Thereafter again the tyres pressures were decreased substantially to minimize the safe overall height of the tanker as supervised and to the satisfaction of railway personnel. The tankers were again anchored to the flat wagon with strapping and D-Shackles for safe transport.
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