September 20, 2007 06:37 ET

Linde forms Global Alliance with SBM to build floating LNG liquefaction plants for offshore natural gas fields

WIESBADEN, GERMANY--(Marketwire - September 20, 2007) -

Munich, 20 September 2007 - Linde has formed a Global Alliance with Single Buoying Mooring Inc. ("SBM") to develop and market Floating Production, Storage and Offloading units ("FPSO") for the growing Liquid Natural Gas ("LNG") industry, based on Linde's proprietary natural gas liquefaction technology.

SBM is a public listed Company, based in the Netherlands and a market leader in the field of FPSOs for the offshore oil & gas industry, currently owning and operating 16 world scale and own- build F(P)SO-units for crude oil and LPG production worldwide.

After having finalized a generic concept for a LNG FPSO with a yearly capacity off app.2.5 million metric tonnes of LNG, global marketing efforts will start as of today. The FPSO is designed for any conventional natural gas composition and aims at offshore natural gas fields with recoverable reserves of 1 trillion cubic feet or more.

Under the Global Alliance Linde contributes the FPSO topsides including gas pretreatment, C3+ fractionation and natural gas liquefaction based on Linde's proprietary Multi-Stage-Mixed-Refrigerant process (LiMuM). SBM among other things contributes marine technology including hull and LNG storage tanks system, power generation system, mooring system, cryogenic offloading systems and FPSO operational experience.

Whilst all process units of a LNG FPSO are proven on- shore technology, the integration of multiple large and heavy process modules with the hull structure and on a limited deck space requires innovative solutions. LNG processing, utility supply, cryogenic offloading and mooring systems are designed to reliably operate under severe marine conditions and with minimal maintenance. The design also incorporates Linde's experience with Europe's first base load LNG plant (4.2 million metric tonnes of LNG per year) for Statoil's "Snohvit" project, which Linde erected on a small island in the Norwegian Arctic Circle utilizing a unique 35,000 tonnes, barge mounted process unit.

Aldo Belloni, member of the Linde Executive Board says: "The importance of LNG in the global energy markets is continuously growing and The Linde Group is poised to play a major role along the entire value chain. The newly formed Global Alliance with SBM is targeting the market of floating LNG facilities, which shall enable the exploitation of off-shore fields, either too remote or too small for a conventional base-load approach. Furthermore, Linde Engineering aims to be a front runner in the field of marine based industrial-chemical plants and this first application fits ideally into this strategy."

It is Linde and SBM's intention to sell LNG-FPSO's turn-key or to offer liquefaction services in a build-own-operate model to the LNG industry. Start of LNG production from the first unit is envisaged for 2012.

The Linde Group is a world-leading industrial gases, medical gases and engineering company with around 49,000 employees working in more than 70 countries worldwide. Following the acquisition of The BOC Group plc, the company has gases and engineering sales of around 12 billion euro per annum. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services.

For more information, please see The Linde Group online at

For additional information:

Uwe Wolfinger
Telephone: +49.89.35757-1320

Investor Relations
Thomas Eisenlohr
Telephone: +49.89.35757-1330

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