BOC India Limited, a member of The Linde Group, has signed a 15-year long term contract with Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) for the supply of gases to meet the demand of planned expansion at the company’s steel works.

Investment of almost Rs 500 Crores is planned in a new state-of-the-art air separation plant and ancilliary equipment, which will not only meet the requirements of RSP but also meet the growing merchant demand for liquid products in eastern India.

As one of the integrated steel plants operated by the Steel Authority of India (SAIL), RSP is undergoing an expansion of its facility and will increase steel production capacity to 3.2mtpa by adding a new blast furnace and converter.

The expansion project also requires setting up air separation units (ASUs) to meet the incremental requirement of oxygen, nitrogen and argon. While RSP had invited bids from major gas companies to install the ASUs on a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) basis, BOC India (BOCI) secured the contract through competitive bidding and a unique solution to meet RSP’s demand and serve the growing merchant market in the region.

The contract will see BOC India supply RSP with up to 2600 tonnes per day (TPD) of gases, met through the installation of two Air Separation Units (ASUs). As well as meeting RSP’s requirement, BOC will also provide around 400 tpd of liquid product including oxygen, nitrogen and argon to serve markets in Orissa, and the neighbouring states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

Sanjiv Lamba, Regional Business Unit Head for Linde’s South & East Asia business explained, “This win at SAIL, Rourkela, is an integral part of our strategy to invest in India with premier customers. This contract takes us a step forward in further strengthening our long term relationship with SAIL which has been built over decades on the basis of mutual trust and partnership.”

The contract was signed at Rourkela on 2nd January, between the Executive Director of Projects at RSP, S.S. Verma, and S.K. Menon, Managing Director of BOC India Ltd. Reflecting on the occasion, Menon said, “We were able to offer the most attractive product and service offer to RSP by fully realising synergies between RSP’s demand and our growing merchant liquid business. This contract is a milestone by virtue of being the largest and most competitive BOO gas supply contract awarded by SAIL so far.”

Meanwhile RSP Managing Director S.N. Singh said of the contract award, “The supply of gases is critical to the operation of the iron and steel making furnaces, and the award of the oxygen plant contract is an important milestone for our expansion project. We look forward to a lasting relationship with BOC.”

The new plant is being designed by Linde’s Engineering Division, with major items of plant and equipment being imported from Germany. Project execution and local scope will be overseen by the Project Engineering Division of BOCI.