Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit has given assurances that oxygen supplies for COVID-19 sufferers will not run short with a production capacity in excess of 1,800 tonnes a day more than enough to meet demand.
Mr Jungrungreangkit was addressing public concerns as figures showed daily cases continuing to spiral yesterday.
He said he had instructed the Department of Industrial Works (DIW) to ask the Federation of Thai Industries, the Siam Industrial Gases Association, gas filling plants and manufacturers of gas cylinders about their production capacity.
“I have realised that people are concerned about the situation. I can assure you that there is no need to worry because the producers have confirmed that the capacity of each factory is enough to meet people’s needs,” he said.
The ministry has been monitoring the domestic oxygen supply situation and is in close contact with the Thai Gas Manufacturers Industry Club under the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), the Siam Industrial Gases Association (SIGA) and other manufacturers, he said.
Oxygen demand is set to rise as the country’s daily tally of new cases has risen to more than 15,000 in recent days.
Prakob Vivitjinda, director-general of the DIW, said that 15 manufacturing plants across the country have confirmed that they can produce at least 1,860 tonnes of oxygen per day.
Next month, there will be another plant in Rayong that will produce an additional 150 tonnes of oxygen per day, Mr Vivitjinda said. In an emergency, that figure can rise to 2,200 tonnes per day, he added.
Currently, about 1,260 tonnes of oxygen are used for industrial and medical purposes per day, of which 400-600 tonnes are for medical use and about 600 tonnes used by industry, Mr Vivitjinda said.
He also warned people not to buy and store oxygen cylinders at home as the high-pressure cylinders are flammable and if not stored correctly can prove to be a fire or explosion hazard.