The Linde group has won its first major contract in Saudi Arabia – one of the most important markets for air separation units.

The contract is for Linde to supply and construct two large polyethylene plants in Al Jubail – a centre of petrochemical development in Saudi Arabia and was commissioned by a consortium led by Saudi Basic Industrial Corp. including investors from Japan and worth around 500 million euros.

The plants will be constructed by Linde-KCA-Dresden GmbH, Dresden, and will have an annual production capacity of 800,000 tons of polyethylene. They are expected to begin operation in the first half of 2008.

Along with this contract, Linde has also signed an agreement worth 70 million euros with Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd for the deliver of one of the world's largest air separation plants. This will have a capacity of 108,000 cubic metres of oxygen and will supply a new methanol plant also in Al Jubail.

Dr.Aldo Belloni, member of the executive board of Linde AG and responsible for the business segment Gas and Engineering emphasised the significance of Linde's first polythene plants in Saudi Arabia. He said: \\$quot;With this first polymer project to be delivered by Linde to Saudi Arabia, we further extend the technology platform in our business relationship with SABIC. So far, Linde has been primarily a supplier of tonnage oxygen plants to SABIC. This award, as well as the Linear Alpha Olefines project which is already under construction at Al Jubail, demonstrates Linde’s ability to compete against its Asian peers in the region.\\$quot;

In the past three years, Linde has supplied air separation plants in the Gulf worth more than 280 million euros. Linde completed and put into operation a turnkey air separation plant with a capacity of 90,000 cubic meters of oxygen per hour, at the Al Jubail site at the start of the year.

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd