Praxair China and Meishan Iron and Steel Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Baosteel Group, have signed an agreement to modify and expand their long-term supply contract.

Under the agreement, Praxair China will increase its oxygen, nitrogen and argon capacities in Nanjing to meet Meishan Steel's growing demand as well as to deliver added values in energy efficiency, product quality and safety.

A new air separation plant with a capacity of 1,700 tons per day is scheduled to start up in early 2012.

Meishan Steel has been growing rapidly in recent years, which is consistent with the goal of its parent company, Baosteel, to become one of the top steel makers worldwide. Praxair China has been supplying industrial gases to Meishan Steel for over a decade now.

“We are honored to be a partner of Meishan Steel in its continued development,” explained Joe Cappello, President of Praxair Asia.

“In addition, we have a number of new joint technical programs under evaluation with Meishan Steel that are designed to deliver additional environmental energy efficiency and safety benefits.”

Praxair offers customers in the global steel industry a wide range of applications technologies that deliver higher furnace productivity at lower capital cost while improving energy efficiency, product quality and environmental performance.