Praxair, Inc. has signed a long-term contract with Gerdau in India for the supply of gaseous oxygen to the company’s blast furnace in Tadipatri, Andhra Pradesh.

Gerdau is the largest long steel producer in the Americas and one of the leading suppliers of special long steel in the world.

Praxair will build, own and operate an 80 tons per day non-cryogenic vacuum-pressure-swing-adsorption plant, which is expected to start up in 2016. Gerdau’s steel facility has an installed capacity to produce 300,000 tons of special steel per year, primarily for automotive, defense, railways and related industries.

“We are very pleased to now be serving in India, one of Praxair’s long-term global customers,” said Anuj Sharma, managing director, Praxair India. “This agreement is an example of the strong global relationships that Praxair builds with its customers. We look forward to continuing to serve Gerdau’s needs and helping the company improve the productivity of their plant and grow their business in India.”

“Reliable supply of industrial gas is critical in our operations,” said Sridhar Krishnamoorthy, MD, Gerdau in India. “Praxair is a strong global supplier for us and we are confident in their ability to deliver the products and services we need.”