Praxair announced it has signed a licensing agreement with WCI Steel, an integrated flat-rolled steel producer, for use of the company's patented CoJet gas injection system in their basic oxygen furnace.

WCI Steel has two 180-ton vessels that can produce up to two million tons of steel a year in a wide variety of carbon, alloy and high-strength chemistries. The installation of the CoJet gas injection technology is scheduled for the first quarter of 2006.

Praxair metals technologies vice president, Charlie Messina, said: \\$quot;The CoJet system has been proven to provide integrated steel producers with significant metallurgical benefits and productivity improvements.\\$quot;

Praxair spokesman Jon Lee, added: "The CoJet gas injection system is a state-of-the-art oxygen injection technology that can help steel mills lower their costs while improving their productivity.

"The technology was originally developed for Electric Arc Furnaces (EAFs) and has now been expanded for application in Basic Oxygen Furnaces (BOFs)."

Praxair holds several patents for the CoJet technology, which produces a laser-like coherent jet of oxygen up to five feet away from the nozzle.

Mr Lee, continued: "This coherent jet delivers precise amounts of oxygen at supersonic speeds deeper into the molten bath of steel, allowing better bath mixing with less splash and slopping.

"Praxair is introducing this technology to steel mills around the world. We anticipate further expansion of the technology into additional countries in the near future."

According to Mr Lee, there is no comparable offering that has been successfully introduced in the BOF market place.

Praxair's revolutionary gas injection system is fully implemented at the Usiminas melt shops and the Cosipa steel mills in Brazil and at U.S. Steel's Gary Works. Installation on ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG steel mills in Germany is currently underway.

With this latest signing, Praxair now has licensing agreements with five customers for the CoJet technology to be used in 12 basic oxygen furnaces.

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Praxair’s CoJet system proves its worth