BOC and Shanghai Petrochemical (SPC), a subsidiary of Sinopec Group, have signed an agreement to form a 50/50 industrial gases joint venture (JV).

The pair entered into a contract to supply industrial gases to SPC and nearby users in Shanghai, China.

The JV will invest more than US$80m in acquiring four air separation units (ASU) from SPC and building a new large ASU capable of producing 1,400 tonnes a day of oxygen. The JV will supply SPC and third party markets a total of more than 5,000 tonnes per day of oxygen, nitrogen and argon.

\\$quot;We are very honoured that SPC has selected BOC as its partner. We believe the joint venture will become a major industrial gas supplier in the region, supporting SPC\\$quot;s growing business,\\$quot; said Steven Fang, business unit head responsible for managing BOC\\$quot;s large tonnage schemes in China.

Ben Van Den Hooven, president of BOC Process Systems, added: \\$quot;We are very pleased that BOC can continue the co-operation and enhance the relationship with Sinopec after the successful establishment of the joint venture with Yangtze Petrochemical Cooperation, another Sinopec subsidiary in Nanjing. BOC has long been committed to China and we will continue to strive to deliver tailored solutions to our key customer, Sinopec.\\$quot;

\\$quot;In order to focus on our core business and improve the specialised management system, we selected BOC as our partner through a rigid selection process. We expect a continuous, reliable supply of gases to meet our business needs. The economic benefits for both parties from this joint venture will also serve as the foundation for this win-win relationship,\\$quot; commented Rong Guangdao, chairman, SPC.