BOC, a member of the Linde Group, has announced that it has agreed to purchase the UK’s Runcorn-based INEOS ChlorVinyls' packed chlorine business, entering into a niche market as a result of the deal.

The sale will be completed once necessary approvals from the Office of Fair Trading have been obtained, with the value of the sale not yet disclosed.

The packed chlorine business is a specialist niche market which involves the packaging and delivery of chlorine liquefied gas in drums and cylinders. The main applications are water disinfection and chemical intermediate treatments, with BOC set to continue to fill cylinders at the INEOS site at Runcorn.

Mike Huggon, Head of BOC’s Regional Business Unit UK and Ireland said, “This is an excellent opportunity for BOC. The acquisition allows us to extend our service offer to the important water treatment sector. BOC already has existing relationships with many of these customers and we look forward to working more closely with them.”

Equally positive was Chris Tane, CEO INEOS ChlorVinyls, as he added, “This sale represents the best option for the packed chlorine business to secure its long-term future and allows us to focus on strengthening our core businesses. We believe that BOC has the experience and the expertise to take this business forward and maximise it to its full potential.”

Thought to be key to the deal is the enhanced service BOC will be able to offer its customers, including improved delivery through its local stocking of product and its national delivery fleet.

Importantly for customers, BOC will continue to multi-source from continental Europe and the combination of a European supply chain and the storage capacity of Ineos, will effectively offer customers enhanced business continuity for this critical chemical. It is also believed that the arrangement will bring significant benefits to water utility companies, who require chlorine for water disinfection.