The technology group The Linde Group has secured a long-term contract with Ningbo Wanhua Polyurethane, which is one of the fastest growing chemical companies for the production of polyurethanes in China. Linde will supply oxygen and nitrogen to Wanhua's world-scale plants in Ningbo (China) from 2010 onwards. This involves investments of approximately USD 125 million, making it the single largest investment in Linde's history in China.

Linde Gas Ningbo, a wholly-owned company of The Linde Group, will build two sets of air separation units and a new 30-kilometer long pipeline infrastructure. The plant will supply gases to Wanhua and Ningbo Steel. It will also co-produce 800 tonnes per day (tpd) of liquid nitrogen, oxygen and argon for the merchant market, as well as krypton and xenon rare gases.

$quot;Linde's investment in this project signals our long-term commitment in China, underpinned by our expertise in the entire coal gasification value chain$quot;, said Dr Aldo Belloni, Member of the Executive Board of Linde AG. $quot;Our partnership with an ambitious and leading company like Wanhua exemplifies the value we bring to the growth of China's pillar industries. This success stems from our advanced capabilities in gases production and supply coupled with our engineering solutions.$quot;

Once the new plant is on-stream in 2010, Linde Gas Ningbo will form the largest air gas cluster in China with a total capacity of 8,000 tpd oxygen and nitrogen and 70 km network of pipelines. By 2012, Linde Gas Ningbo's production capacity will be capable of supplying to multiple tonnage customers in the area.