A \\$quot;˜ground breaking\\$quot; ceremony was held recently to mark a $12.7m investment. David Chow, Praxair China President, and Zhang Xuejun,Tongling Mayor,unveiled the cornerstone at the ceremony.

Tongling Praxair are set to provide Jinlong Copper, the largest copper smelting joint venture in China, with a stable and reliable supply of industrial gas.

The company will build, own and operate three non-cryogenic oxygen systems with a total capacity of 14,100 cubic metres per hour (about 500 tons per day) to meet the requirements of Jinlong's flash furnace-smelting process.

The construction work is under way and the first system will be ready to supply oxygen to Jinlong in January 2007; the second one will begin operation in July of the same year; and the third will start up in August 2008.