Linde has received an order from Ruhr Oel GmbH for the turnkey installation of five new cracking furnaces for an ethylene plant at the company\\$quot;s Gelsenkirchen-Scholven site in Germany.

The total order value is approximately €130m. Ruhr Oel GmbH is a joint venture between Deutsche BP AG and Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., the Venezuelan state oil company.

\\$quot;The order is particularly important to Linde because an innovative overall concept was used to clinch the deal,\\$quot; said Dr. Aldo Belloni, responsible for the business segment Gas and Engineering. \\$quot;We have proven our expertise both in terms of processes and with our exceptional assembly concept.\\$quot;

The new plants will replace 17 existing older-generation furnaces, which no longer comply with today\\$quot;s environmental requirements with regard to nitric oxide (NOx) and dust emissions as well as energy efficiency. The five new, identical, state-of-the-art furnaces, each boasting a capacity of approximately 100,000 tons of ethylene per year, have a broad processing spectrum: from heavy hydrocarbons to naphtha and gaseous feedstocks. Ethylene is a key source material for the plastics industry, in particular.

The new furnaces will be assembled outside of the operational plant and largely prepared for commissioning. In September 2007, during a routine shutdown of the plant, the existing furnaces will be dismantled and their new replacements transported to the site and installed there. This investment secures the long-term operation of the Gelsenkrichen ethylene plant and plays a decisive role in sustaining the site.