The Linde Group has announced that it has signed an agreement with Wanhua Chemical Group, the world’s largest producer of isocyanate (MDI), to expand the supply of gas to phase II of Wanhua Chemical’s Yantai operations.
Under the new agreement, Linde will invest €108m ($126m) to build two additional energy efficient steam-driven air separation units (ASUs), complementing the two existing ASUs already in place, to meet Wanhua Chemical’s growing demand for industrial gases.
Sanjiv Lamba, Chief Operating Officer for Asia Pacific and Member of the executive board at Linde AG, said, “The agreement with Wanhua Chemical underscores our long and valued partnership. China continues to be an important part of Linde’s Asia profitable growth strategy. Aside from robust domestic demand, Chinese businesses are increasingly looking for opportunities abroad. Being able to meet the demand for high quality industrial gases, delivered with the same reliability and efficiency, anywhere in the world, is Linde’s compelling proposition for companies that want to take their business global.”
Liao Zengtai, CEO of Wanhua chemical, said, “Wanhua Chemical is increasingly looking beyond China to drive growth of our business. Today, nearly a third of our product is scheduled for export, and this will continue to grow. Wanhua Chemical and Linde have developed a very solid partnership over the past year with proven cooperative experience. As a truly international producer, Wanhua Chemical needs partners who are ready to work with us on a global basis. For us, Linde is that partner.”
When the plants come on stream in 2019, they will be one of Linde’s most advanced gaseous and liquid production sites in Asia Pacific. The new plants will improve the reliability and stability of gas supply, while also increasing production flexibility and reducing production costs. This is made possible using Linde’s expertise to optimise the operating modes of multiple ASUs, capable of adjusting both the type and volume of gases to match the requirements of the Yantai site.
Linde currently has supply agreements with Wanhua Chemical in Yantai and Ningbo, China, as well as in Kazincbarcika, Hungary. This new Yantai Wanhua deal is the fourth between the two companies, as Wanhua Chemical looks to integrate its global supply chain.