The Linde Group has announced that it has signed a long-term supply contract for industrial gases with the world’s largest steel producer ArcelorMittal, involving the construction of a new air separation unit (ASU) at the company’s site at Galati, Romania.

As well as the installation of a new ASU, Linde will also refurbish existing assets with a total investment exceeding €100m and will start to implement improvement measures immediately after taking over operation of the existing industrial gas production in mid 2008.

“This agreement seals the long term future of our partnership with one of our most important customers and confirms our market leadership in Eastern Europe,” said Dr Aldo Belloni, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG.

The new ASU will produce up to 2,000 tonnes per day (tpd) of oxygen as well as smaller quantities of nitrogen and argon for ArcelorMittal’s local steel production.