Metinvest Group and the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation provide an extensive support to Ukrainian doctors in the fight against the pandemic, sourcing equipment and medicines to hospitals. In October alone, Metinvest supplied over 600 tonnes of liquid oxygen to hospitals in Kyiv and eight other regions of Ukraine for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, according to Oleksandr Vyshniakov, Director for Regional Development at Metinvest. He made this statement at the Freedom of Speech talk show by Savik Shuster.
“Metinvest is the largest steel company. As a socially responsible business, we always prioritise investments in health care, because these investments save lives. Life is the most valuable asset, and this is the philosophy of Rinat Akhmetov,” said Oleksandr Vyshniakov.
Metinvest has been supplying oxygen to hospitals for the treatment of coronavirus patients since last year.
“In the cities where the company operates, we came up with an initiative to source oxygen to hospitals and build oxygen stations to abandon oxygen cylinders. Thus, hospitals in Mariupol, Zaporizhia, Pokrovsk, and Avdiivka operate new stations now, and Metinvest supplies oxygen there for free,” Mr Vyshniakov went on to say.
“As October saw a shortage of oxygen in the market and an increase in the incidence rate, we received requests from doctors and executive authorities. All asked for help with the oxygen. So, we set up a crisis centre, developed an action plan and responded to all the requests,” added the Director.
Metinvest currently delivers on average around 80 tonnes of oxygen to hospitals every day. One tonne of oxygen sustains roughly 100 patients. Thus, the oxygen produced by Metinvest Group helps support lives of 8,000 Ukrainians on a daily basis.
“Making steel and saving lives are two disparate things. We give everything we can to continue saving lives of the Ukrainians,” he concluded.
In the metals sector, oxygen is used as a combustion product in the process flow to produce pig iron and steel. Oxygen, which is a product of separation in the steel industry, meets the parameters of medical grade oxygen.
Laboratories certified by the National Medicines Service test oxygen at steel plants.The tests show that it can be used for COVID-19 patients. Earlier this week, hospitals were running short of oxygen for such patients. Two reasons stood behind. First, more patients with the new Delta coronavirus variant need oxygen. Second, two main oxygen producers in Ukraine have shut down for routine repairs. Another plant was closed because of technical problems. However, steelmakers have thrown a lifeline to the country, helping it fight the pandemic.
Over its 15-year history, Metinvest has channelled around UAH 350 million to healthcare. In particular, hospitals in Zaporizhia, Mariupol, Avdiivka, and Pokrovsk have received new oxygen stations that remain reliable and save lives, while Metinvest continues to donate oxygen to support their operation.