The Linde Group is set to build a new air separation unit in the eastern German town of Eisenhüttenstadt, near Frankfurt an der Oder.

Around €85m will be channeled into the plant, which will supply the ArcelorMittal Eisenhüttenstadt steelworks with oxygen and nitrogen. The two companies recently signed an agreement to this effect.

The plant will also supply liquid gases to the regional market. By combining both gaseous and liquid production streams, the new plant will significantly increase the energy efficiency of oxygen generation at the integrated steelworks.

“This major on-site project builds on our long-standing and successful partnership with ArcelorMittal,” explains Professor Dr. Aldo Belloni, Member of the Executive Board of Linde AG. “It enables us to synergise the expertise of our Engineering Division with the know-how of our Gases Division, which will be operating the plant once it is completed. It also strengthens our market position as a trusted oxygen supplier to the steel sector.”

Eisenhüttenstadt is currently home to two oxygen generation units. The new plant will replace the older, less efficient facility. Linde’s Engineering Division will be responsible for delivering the turnkey plant. Linde Gas company LiGaPro will operate the plant once it goes on stream, currently planned for 2017.

“This extended partnership with Linde will make oxygen production much more energy efficient,” says Pierre Jacobs, CEO of ArcelorMittal Eisenhüttenstadt. “The increase in oxygen capacity also secures our future supplies and gives us a much greater degree of flexibility in steel production.”

“Energy efficiency was a key factor for us in the design phase, especially in light of rising raw material costs in the region,” elaborates Olaf Reckenhofer, Head of Linde Gas Germany. “An improved energy balance will also contribute to the lowering of carbon dioxide emissions in the region.”