The Steel Plant Employees Union, a subsidiary of the Center of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), has demanded that the center take over and hand over the oxygen plant built by the French Air Liquid India Holding Private Limited on the premises of the RINL-Visakhapatnam (VSP) steel mill It to the VSP to generate oxygen.
In a letter to Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday, CITU President Ch.Narasinga Rao, Honorary President B. Ganga Rao, President J. Ayodhya Ram and General Secretary YT Das stated that the then Union government had allowed the French company to build a plant in 2009 To establish generation of oxygen and nitrogen in the VSP.
The company had set up the plant in the Visakhapatnam steelworks with a production capacity of 1,700 tons per day. According to the agreement, the company is only allowed to sell its oxygen and nitrogen to the VSP for a period of 15 years. Then the company has to be handed over to the steelworks. However, management shut down the plant for nine years after construction was completed, they claimed.
It has resorted to litigation since its inception, and after several international arbitrations, the ruling was reached on April 2, 2021 that the company must begin its trial run from May 1. However, the company has asked for some time to continue the test run. The plant has been idle for a long time.
The facility can produce 100 tons of oxygen per day, which will be very useful for the country amid the pandemic. The VSP is willing to pay the value to the Air Liquid Company in accordance with the award of the international arbitration tribunal. VSP management has also agreed to pay £ 85 billion in advance to the company for the cost of the test run, Narasinga Rao said.