BOC India is to set up two air separation units in order to penetrate the southern market.

The company says the decision to consolidate its presence in the south stems from the fact that a number of pharmaceutical and automobile companies have set up their manufacturing units there - all of which are potential customers for BOC’s products and services.

The units will be at Bellary in Karnataka and Medak in Andhra Pradesh.

Work on the Bellary unit, which will have a capacity of 855 tonnes per day has begun and the facility is due to go on stream by the middle of next year - BOC has already signed a long-term contract with JSW Steel to supply gas to its steel plant from the Bellary plant.

The Medak unit, which will produce 65 tonnes a day, is due to start commercial production before March next year.

BOC India has recently restructured its gas business into Process Gas Solution and Industrial and Special Products divisions in line with the group's global strategy.

The PGS division will focus on customers requiring bulk supplies of industrial gases from on-site plants or by pipeline as well as deliveries of liquefied gases.

The project engineering division will deal with customers in different industries and forms an integral part of the PGS business.

The ISP division will take care of the sale of the products in cylinders and liquid gas sales to the fabrication and medical sectors. Special products like helium and calibration gases also form part of the ISP product portfolio.