December 20, 2007 03:15 ET

Linde seals exclusive Gas contract with Ningbo Wanhua Polyurethane

MÜNCHEN, GERMANY--(Marketwire - December 20, 2007) -

Munich, 20 December 2007 - The technology group The Linde Group has secured a long-term contract with Ningbo Wanhua Polyurethane, which is one of the fastest growing chemical companies for the production of polyurethanes in China. Linde will supply oxygen and nitrogen to Wanhua's world-scale plants in Ningbo (China) from 2010 onwards. This involves investments of approximately USD 125 million, making it the single largest investment in Linde's history in China.

Linde Gas Ningbo, a wholly-owned company of The Linde Group, will build two sets of air separation units and a new 30-kilometer long pipeline infrastructure. The plant will supply gases to Wanhua and Ningbo Steel. It will also co-produce 800 tonnes per day (tpd) of liquid nitrogen, oxygen and argon for the merchant market, as well as krypton and xenon rare gases.

"Linde's investment in this project signals our long-term commitment in China, underpinned by our expertise in the entire coal gasification value chain", said Dr Aldo Belloni, Member of the Executive Board of Linde AG. "Our partnership with an ambitious and leading company like Wanhua exemplifies the value we bring to the growth of China's pillar industries. This success stems from our advanced capabilities in gases production and supply coupled with our engineering solutions."

Wanhua's Chairman Ding Jian Sheng said:"The Linde Group has an excellent brand reputation for international standards of quality and reliability in China. Furthermore, our partnership benefits from Linde's vast experience in and understanding of the Chinese market."

Once the new plant is on-stream in 2010, Linde Gas Ningbo will form the largest air gas cluster in China with a total capacity of 8,000 tpd oxygen and nitrogen and 70 km network of pipelines. By 2012, Linde Gas Ningbo's production capacity will be capable of supplying to multiple tonnage customers in the area.

Ningbo Wanhua was established in 2005, and Yantai Wanhua, its parent company, is publicly-listed in China. Wanhua is the only local company that owns the technology and expertise for MDI. MDI is needed in the production of polyurethane, widely used by the construction and automobile industries, and also for the manufacturing of paint and footwear. China is quickly becoming one of the key MDI markets, following North America and Europe.

The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 50,000 employees working in more than 70 countries worldwide. Following the acquisition of The BOC Group plc, the company has 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.

In China, Linde is clearly the largest gases and engineering company, registering a double-digit growth annually. Linde in China today has 20 wholly-owned companies, 28 joint-ventures and more than 100 operational plants in major industrial hubs spanning across the country, with over 2,000 employees. For more information, please see The Linde Group online at

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Press                    Investor Relations
Stefan Metz              Thomas Eisenlohr
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