Praxair, Inc. has signed a long-term contract to supply industrial gases to a new steel mill being built near the Port of Pecém in an international free trade zone in the state of Ceara, northeast Brazil.

The mill will be operated by Companhia Siderúrgica do Pecém (CSP), a joint venture between Brazilian Vale and South Korean Dongkuk Steel and Posco Steel.

Praxair will build, own and operate a 2,400 tons per day cryogenic plant that will produce gaseous and liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon. The plant will enable CSP to produce an expected three million tons of steel slabs annually, which will largely be exported for further processing by CSP’s Korean partners.

The plant is expected to start up in 2016.  

In addition to supplying CSP, it is understood that the new plant will serve merchant and packaged gas customers in a variety of sectors across the northern and northeastern regions of Brazil – including food and beverage, metal fabrication, healthcare and automotive.

“We are proud to have been chosen to play such a significant role in this project,” said Domingos Bulus, President of Praxair South America. “Our state-of-the-art plant and world-class Praxair team will provide CSP with the gases it needs to deliver a steady supply of high-quality steel products.”