The Linde Group and the international manufacturer of high-quality steel products NLMK Group have signed an agreement for the long-term supply of oxygen, nitrogen and argon to the Novolipetsk Steel site in Russia.

The Tier One corporation will invest around €100m into a new state-of-the-art air separation unit (ASU), build, own and operate it at the customer’s site - the steel works located in Lipetsk, Russia.

NLMK operates a blast furnace as well as steelmaking and metal rolling facilities at the location.

The new ASU will have a production capacity of around 72,000 normal cubic metres of gaseous oxygen per hour (Nm3/h) and is expected to come on stream in the fourth quarter of 2021.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this significant contract and to continue our strategic partnership with NLMK, a leader in its industry. We will use this opportunity to once again prove our capabilities in building and operating advanced production units that deliver gas reliably, at the right parameters, and in the most efficient way. This, in turn, is going to help our customer achieve even greater productivity levels,” stated Professor Dr. Aldo Belloni, CEO of Linde AG.

Sergey Chebotaryov, Vice-President of Enenergetics of NLMK Group, stressed, “Partnership with The Linde Group will guarantee reliable supply of NLMK plant with industrial gases taking into account expected steel production volumes growth on Lipetsk site. New ASU will significantly reduce our costs, improve efficiency of production processes and help to elaborate on the goals of our next period of strategic development.”