The Linde Group has entered into a joint venture with SINOPEC Fujian Petrochemical Company Limited (FPCL) for the long-term supply of industrial gases to customers in the province of Fujian in south-eastern China.

FPCL is a subsidiary of China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC) and the new collaboration will result in a capital outlay of around €100m.

The joint venture (JV) company, Fujian Linde-FPCL Gases Company Limited, will be located in Quangang Petrochemical Industrial Park in Quanzhou, Fujian, and will produce and distribute nitrogen, oxygen and argon from the site.

Each of the partners, FPCL and Linde Gas (Hong Kong) Limited, a fully-owned Linde subsidiary, has a 50% share in the new joint venture.

“This joint venture will create the largest industrial gases company in the fast-growing province of Fujian,” explained Dr Aldo Belloni, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG.

“This is the region of China in which our gases operations began. The collaboration is a further example of our long-term growth strategy in the emerging Asian nations, underpinning our position as number one in the Chinese gases market.”

Fujian Linde-FPCL Gases is currently building two air separation plants on the Quanzhou site, both of which are nearing completion. Each of the plants has a capacity of 40,000 normal cubic metres oxygen per hour (Nm3/hr).

In future, the principal function of these plants will be to supply air gases via pipeline to the company’s major customer, Fujian Integrated Refining and Ethylene Project (FREP) in Quangang. The plants will also produce liquefied gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and argon, as well as raw krypton and raw xenon for the regional market in Fujian.

In addition to the liquefied gases business, Fujian Linde-FPCL Gases intends to set up a local gases centre in Quangang, providing a high-quality gas supply infrastructure to various customers in the industrial park.

FREP is a large-scale refinery and petrochemical project in China which involves Chinese and non-Chinese partners. It is a joint investment between FPCL, ExxonMobil China Petroleum and Petrochemical Company Limited as well as Saudi Aramco Sino Company Limited.