Praxair India has announced the award of a major contract from the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) to build and operate an on-site industrial gas plant at the site of SAIL's steel plant in Durgapur, north of Kolkata.

Praxair India will build, own and operate a state-of-the-art cryogenic air separation plant with a capacity of 700 metric tons per day (MTPD) to meet SAIL's gaseous oxygen requirements. The plant will also supply the growing demand for liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon from customers in eastern India after meeting SAIL's requirements. The plant will be commissioned by early 2008.

'We have the confidence that Praxair will meet the quality and reliability expectations of SAIL in the supply of cryogenic gases required to meet the capacity expansions called for in SAIL's corporate plan,' said Mr J.L. Aggarwal, executive director, projects, for SAIL's Durgapur steel plant.

'This contract with a major player in the Indian steel sector recognises Praxair's overall capabilities and high level of service and safety standards,' said Mr. John Panikar, managing director for Praxair India.

Praxair India recently commissioned an 875 MTPD plant for Tata Steel at Jamshedpur. It has also executed a number of other major Indian projects, among them two 2,500 MTPD cryogenic oxygen plants for Jindal Vijaynagar Steel Ltd. and additional plants for Kalyani Steels, Saint Gobain Glass India and Haldia Petrochemicals. Praxair has also installed innovative non-cryogenic on-site plants for customers such as Usha Martin, Timken, Epcos Ferrites and Sundaram Fasteners.