October 22, 2008 03:09 ET

The Linde Group expands gases supply in Ningbo (China)

MUNICH, GERMANY--(Marketwire - October 22, 2008) - The technology group The Linde Group has entered into two new contracts for the on-site supply of gases to the companies Ningbo Iron & Steel Co. Ltd and Hanwha Chemical Corporation (HCC) in Ningbo in eastern China. Under the agreements, Linde will build an additional air separation plant at the emerging industrial site on the Yangtze delta, an investment of around 17 million euro.

The new plant will supply an extra 21,000 scmh (standard cubic metres per hour) of oxygen to the steelworks of Ningbo Steel in Ningbo Beilun district from the middle of 2009. Linde Gas Ningbo, a fully-owned subsidiary of The Linde Group, has been supplying the largest integrated producer of iron and steel in the region exclusively since 2007 with a total of 42,000 scmh of oxygen and 40,000 scmh of nitrogen from two air separation plants.

"The construction of this third air separation plant will ensure that we are able to meet the rising demand from Ningbo Steel for air gases as a result of its expansion in steel production," said Dr Aldo Belloni, member of the Executive Board of Linde AG. "The new supply agreements with Ningbo Steel and Hanwha Chemicals are yet another step on the way towards establishing the biggest cluster for air gases in China in Ningbo by 2010. We are able to benefit here from close cooperation with our Engineering Division."

In the industrial development zone of Daxie, an island lying off the coast of Ningbo, the Korean company Hanwha Chemical Corporation, a world-leading petrochemical company, is building a production facility for PVC (polyvinyl chloride). The new factory should come on stream at the end of 2010. In the initial phase, Linde will supply HCC with up to 8,250 scmh of oxygen and 2,000 scmh of nitrogen. The gases will be supplied from two air separation plants, each with a total capacity of 39,000 scmh per pipeline, which Linde is currently building for its customer Ningbo Wanhua Polyurethane Co. Ltd on its Daxie site. Ningbo Wanhua Polyurethane is one of China's fastest-growing polyurethane manufacturers.

Under this supply agreement, which was signed in December 2007, Linde Gas Ningbo will supply Ningbo Wanhua's polyurethane plants from 2010 with large volumes of oxygen and nitrogen. At more than 100 million euro, this is Linde's biggest single investment to date in China.

These new projects will establish extensive connections between various industrial companies in Daxie by 2010. On the island, HCC purchases the raw material for its PVC production from Wanhua, which in turn produces MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, used in the manufacture of polyurethane). In future, both companies will be supplied with gases from Linde's on-site gas production plants.

The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with more than 50,000 employees working in around 100 countries worldwide. In the 2007 financial year it achieved sales of EUR 12.3 billion. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment - in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.

Linde is the largest industrial gases and engineering company in China, where it achieves double-digit annual growth rates. Linde, which has more than 2,000 employees in China, currently has a presence in the country's major industrial centres, with around 50 wholly-owned companies and joint ventures and over 100 plant sites.

For more information, see The Linde Group web site at

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