Air Products has announced that its joint venture in India, INOX Air Products, has signed a long-term contract with Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), India's largest steel producer for the supply of oxygen, nitrogen and argon to SAIL's steel works in Bokaro, Eastern India.

INOX Air Products will build, own and operate a state-of-the-art cryogenic air separation facility at SAIL's Bokaro steel works. The facility is scheduled to come on-stream in early 2008.

"We are happy to be associated with INOX Air Products as a long-term partner and are confident that INOX Air Products can meet SAIL's expectations for the supply of our industrial gas requirements for the expansion of our Bokaro production facilities," said Mr. D. P. Sharma\\$quot;”executive director\\$quot;”Projects, SAIL-Bokaro Steel Plant.

"India represents a significant growth opportunity for Air Products in Asia and steel is a key growth driver," said Bob Dixon, president, Air Products Asia. "INOX Air Products' supply agreement with SAIL demonstrates the value of our capabilities for a leading steel producer. It also reflects the quickened pace of industrial manufacturing and infrastructure investment in India, which will further increase the market for industrial gases."

"This new facility for SAIL in Eastern India complements INOX Air Products' existing strong presence throughout India and our leading merchant supplier position, and will better position us to meet our customers' existing and future requirements," said Pavan K. Jain, managing director of INOX Air Products.