Praxair (China) Investment Co. Ltd. has signed a long-term supply agreement with Guangdong Shaoguan Iron & Steel Group Co. Ltd (Shaoguan Steel), following the latter’s increasing production capacity.

Praxair China has been supplying gases to the rapidly-growing Shaoguan Steel, one of China’s key industrial enterprises, for nearly 10 years and under the new contract, will build a large air separation plant to go on stream in mid-2010.

The new plant will supply oxygen, nitrogen and argon for Shaoguan Steel’s increased production capacity. It will also be the fourth Praxair air separation unit constructed at Shaoguan Steel and will increase the company’s total production capacity to around 3,550 metric tons of oxygen per day.

David Chow, President of Praxair China, said simply, “We’re honored to play a continuing role in supporting the growth and success of the leading steel supplier in Guangdong province.”

Praxair China is a leading industrial gas provider in China, headquartered in Shanghai and with 2007 sales thought to be above $300m.