The Linde Group has announced it will build and commission a state-of-the-art 2,550 tons per day (tpd) air separation unit (ASU) at Tata Steel Ltd's plant in Jamshedpur, India.
Once commissioned in early 2012, this will be the largest air separation plant in India and one of Linde's largest in Asia. The investment for the new ASU amounts to nearly €85m, bringing Linde's total investment in India over the last three years to approximately €285m.
The announcement follows The Linde Group's signing of a long-term contract with Tata Steel - one of the world's leading steelmakers - for the supply of over 4,000 tpd of gaseous oxygen, nitrogen and argon.
The new ASU will cater to Tata Steel's current expansion of its world-class steel making facility in Jamshedpur. The expansion will increase the plant's steelmaking capacity to 10 million tpy.
As part of the agreement, Linde will also acquire and operate three existing ASUs owned by Tata Steel for the supply of gases to their Jamshedpur works.
$quot;This investment, which further deepens our solid relationship with Tata, is an example of our strong commitment to India,$quot; said Dr Aldo Belloni, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG.
$quot;Our group member BOC has been operating in India for nearly 75 years. The importance of the Indian market is also reflected in our rapidly growing engineering capability in Baroda and Kolkata. Our comprehensive engineering solutions put us in a good position to meet the growing needs of steel makers, refineries and petrochemical plants in India,$quot; he added.
Commenting on the occasion, H M Nerurkar, Managing Director of Tata Steel Ltd said, $quot;Linde is one of the world's largest gas companies, with cutting-edge technical expertise and experience in designing and operating air separation plants. This, combined with their solid operational capabilities locally makes them a strong partner for Tata for our world class steel works in Jamshedpur.$quot;
In addition to meeting Tata Steel's gases requirements, the new plant will also produce liquid products to meet the growth in merchant markets throughout India.
Linde is the leading provider of bulk and cylinder gases in India to a variety of industries and is currently in the process of commissioning a new air separation plant near Dehradun in North India.
The plant is expected to commence supplies of liquid and cylinder gases to customers by the first quarter of 2010. In addition, Linde is also investing in a new merchant air separation plant in Maharashtra that will produce nearly 500 tpd of liquid products to meet the growing demands of industry in the western region of the country.
The Linde Group currently has gas supply contracts with Tata Steel across the world meeting its gas requirements not only in India, but also in the UK and Holland.
In India, Linde has a long-standing relationship with Tata Steel that spans over five decades. It currently operates two existing air separation plants supplying almost 1,500 tpd of oxygen, nitrogen and argon gases to Tata's steel making operations at Jamshedpur.