Linde AG will develop a fully customised, large-scale integrated gas production system at the world’s largest steel corporation in Kazakhstan as part of a €70m ($83m) investment.

The Tier One company already operates an air separation unit (ASU) at ArcelorMittal’s steelworks Temirtau site in Kazakhstan. ArcelorMittal Temirtau plans to increase its production of hot metal in the coming years which will lead to a significant growth in the demand for industrial gases.

The new ASU, once in operation, will be connected to the first one, together forming an intelligent supply system for ArcelorMittal’s production. The new plant will not only meet increasing gas needs of the steel mill but also have the capacity to act as a backup, ensuring highest product availability at all times. It is set to go on stream in November 2019.

Bernd Eulitz, Member of the Executive Board of Linde AG, said, “We are very pleased to extend the partnership with our long-standing and well-established customer ArcelorMittal by building another ASU in Temirtau. The new unit will form, together with the first one, a reliable integrated gas production system that will accommodate the increasing industrial gas needs of the steelworks.”

“The broadened supply agreements confirm the solid cooperation between our companies. We are proud to be already supplying ArcelorMittal at several locations in Germany and Eastern Europe.”

Linde’s Engineering Division will be constructing the plant. Once it goes on stream, it will be operated by Linde Gas Kazakhstan. 

According to gasworld’s Senior Business Analyst, James Barr, Linde commissioned its first plant at the Temirtau site in 2013, which replaced a series of older Russian-built plants that were operated by ArcelorMittal.

He added, “Linde Gas Kazakhstan currently enjoys a market share of around 33% in the country, with the total market value estimated at around $75m in 2016.”