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Oxygen Producing Plant

  1. Product Description: Oxygen (O2) is a gaseous element which constitutes about 20% of the atmospheric air. The gas is consumed in iron and steel industry, gas welding shops, hospitals and waste water treatment, etc.


  1. Rationale: The oxygen requirement of the whole country is produced by an old plant located in Addis Ababa. Oxygen is packed in a heavy metal cylinder which is expensive transport and which is also difficult to load and unload. However, despite this drawback, even the oxygen demand of Gambela, Mekele, Asosa, Jijiga and other far off places is met by transporting the product from Addis Ababa. This, obviously, entails additional costs which results in higher prices for the product. Oxygen is a life-saving product in hospitals and clinics for people with serious respiratory problems. The product has to be available in sufficient volume in every health care institution at any time of the day. Considering the nature of the product, it will be to the benefit of consumers if production facilities are decentralized. At the minimum there must be one oxygen plant in each of the major regions of the country.


  1. Market Potential:  Average annual production of oxygen by the Addis Ababa plant between 1986-1995 was 162000 m3; and production had been growing at an average rate of six percent per year. On the other hand, demand for oxygen for the country was projected to be 571000 m3 in 2006. The share of the Amhara Region is about 148,460m3. This demand share will increase in the future due to population growth and expanding economic activities.  Even the current projected demand of oxygen for the Amhara Region will be sufficient to absorb the production of a medium size oxygen producing plant.


Domestic Production of Oxygen (in Cub. M)


Domestic Production        (M3 )













































Source: CSA, (various yeas)

  1. Source of raw material: Major raw material is ambient air for which no cost will be incurred.


  1. Process and Technology: By means of a fan or blower air is blown into the first of three vessels prepared for this purpose. Artificial or natural zeolite is first packed in the vessel. This zeolite absorbs nitrogen from the content of the atmospheric air thereby leaving about 90% pure oxygen. This oxygen is let to go out via the top of the first vessel. And it is introduced to the second and third vessel respectively to get further rectification. During the introduction of the oxygen in the third vessel, the first vessel is kept at low pressure in order to allow regeneration of zeolite. In this way, all the three vessels repeat by turns the production of oxygen and regeneration of zeolite. Major plant and machinery for the plant include absorber columns, air flower, vacuum pump, pipe and valves and control panel.

  1. Estimated Investment:- For a plant which can produce 360,000 m3of oxygen working 24 hrs. a day and 300 days per year, the estimated investment will be.

   Building 150 m3  mat Birr 2000/m2         =  Birr      300,000

   Plant and machinery        ……………     =  Birr    2,350,000

   Working capital ……………………..….  =  Birr        50,000

Total ………………….…..   = Birr     2,700,000

  1. Benefits: Saves regional financial resources, self-sufficiency in a very critical and important industrial product, lowers the price of the product at regional level. Supports the metal fabrication, repair and maintenance industries of the Region.


  1. Location:  Bahir Dar, Combolcha