BOC has signed a long-term agreement to supply industrial gases to one of the biggest steelmakers in the UK, SSI Steel UK.

The 15-year agreement is one of the largest gases contracts ever awarded in the UK and follows SSI’s purchase of the Teesside steelworks from Tata Steel in 2010.

The project will involve an investment of £25m at BOC’s site on Teesside and will be executed by the regional operations team, drawing upon the expertise of colleagues in parent company The Linde Group for specialist engineering (Linde Engineering).

Mike Huggon, Managing Director of BOC, added, “BOC has been established in Teesside for many years and is committed to supporting the area’s vital industrial base. This news is important not only for jobs and prosperity in Teesside but also for the UK’s wider industrial sector.”

“I am delighted SSI UK have chosen BOC as their supplier and am confident that the investment we are making will bring long-term benefits to both companies.”

The new contract means SSI UK will be able to increase its overall steel output as part of expansion plans to supply steel slab to its parent company in Thailand.

Phil Dryden, CEO of SSI Steel UK, reflected, “I am very pleased that we have reached agreement with BOC on this contract. BOC is a strategic partner and having worked with them since we announced our plans we are delighted that this investment has been agreed. It will help us take SSI UK forward and meet our strategic plans for the future.”

Works, scheduled to take two years, will include the upgrading and expansion of three existing ASUs (air separation units) which supply oxygen, nitrogen and argon, re-engineering of the existing pipeline systems to SSI UK’s site and the design and build of specialist control equipment for SSI UK’s blast furnace.