Linde Group said it has secured a long-term supply contract with a leading Chinese polyurethane company involving a total investment of about US$125 million, the German gases and engineering firm's single largest investment in China.
Linde Gas Ningbo, its wholly-owned unit, will supply oxygen and nitrogen to Ningbo Wanhua Polyurethane Co's plants in eastern China from 2010 onwards, according to a statement.
The world's largest maker of industrial gases will build two sets of air separation units, each with the capacity to produce 1,300 tons of oxygen per day, and a 30-kilometer long pipeline infrastructure, to supply Ningbo Wanhua and Ningbo Steel.
The facilities will also produce 800 tons per day of liquid nitrogen, oxygen and argon, for the merchant market in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, in addition to rare gases like krypton and xenon.
"Linde's investment in this project signals our long-term commitment in China, underpinned by our expertise in the entire coal gasification value chain," Aldo Belloni, an executive board member of Linde AG, said in a statement.
With the new plant coming on stream in 2010, Linde Gas Ningbo will form the largest air gas cluster in China with a total capacity of 8,000 tons per day of oxygen and nitrogen and 70 kilometers of pipelines, it said.
Ningbo Wanhua now operates a 240,000 ton-per-year plant for methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, or MDI, and is investing in a new MDI train to develop an integrated production site with MDI, methanol and other related materials. MDI is used in polyurethane products such as foam insulation, coatings and adhesives. This will expand Ningbo Wanhua's MDI capacity to a world scale of 600,000 tons a year. The new site will require 2,000 tons of oxygen and 1,000 tons of nitrogen per day, which Linde Gas Ningbo will supply from 2010.
(Shanghai Daily December 26, 2007)