Sydney, Australia, 15 February 2012 – Leading New Zealand gases and engineering company BOC Ltd and New Zealand Steel today announced they had agreed a long term industrial gas supply contract that will be critical to New Zealand Steel's ongoing iron and steel making operations at Glenbrook.
BOC will invest around $70 million (around EUR 56 million) in new air separation plant and associated equipment to supply products to the New Zealand air gases market. This investment is underpinned by a contract with New Zealand Steel to serve the air gas needs of that plant's production for at least a 20 year period.
The plant will replace an existing plant that is approaching the end of its useful life. It will feature increased production and storage capacity enhancing reliability of supply and potential for growth for New Zealand Steel. The plant will also supply increased quantities of liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon to the broader New Zealand air gases market for other vital applications such as medicinal use, food freezing & packaging, and metal fabrication.
Up to 120 people will work on the plant's construction over the next two years. Once operating, the state of the art facility will generate energy savings from the current production; equivalent to the yearly energy needs of 1900 average New Zealand homes.
BOC South Pacific Managing Director, Colin Isaac, said the new infrastructure would enable BOC to deliver efficient and cost-effective supply of air gases to its growing New Zealand customer base.
"The new contract to supply air gases to New Zealand Steel continues a long lasting partnership between our two companies," Mr Isaac said.
"Last year we celebrated our 100th year of business in New Zealand and I see this new investment as a strong signal of our confidence in our New Zealand business well into the future."
New Zealand Steel President, Simon Linge, said the agreement marked a significant commitment by New Zealand Steel in its continued support of New Zealand customers and the New Zealand economy.
"It was important for us that this facility was state of the art, which reduces our environmental footprint and shows the commitment to innovation that New Zealand Steel was founded on," Mr Linge said.
"We are extremely pleased to continue our long term partnership with BOC. Importantly this shows our confidence in New Zealand, and the broader importance of a strong and sustainable manufacturing industry in this country."
BOC expects to complete construction of the new plant in December 2013.
BOC is a member of The Linde Group which supplies compressed and bulk gases, chemicals and equipment around the globe. The company develops safe, sustainable and innovative solutions for customers in many specialty sectors, heavy industry and medical environments. For more than a century the company's gases and expertise have contributed to advances in industry and everyday life, including steelmaking, refining, chemical processing, environmental protection, wastewater treatment, welding and cutting, food processing and distribution, glass production, electronics and health care.
For further information, see www.boc.com.au
About The Linde Group
The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with approximately 50,000 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2010 financial year, the company achieved sales of EUR 12.868 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.
For more information, see The Linde Group online at www.linde.com
About New Zealand Steel
New Zealand Steel Limited is the country's sole producer of flat rolled steel products for the building, construction, manufacturing and agricultural industries. It operates a fully integrated steel mill at Glenbrook, about 60 kilometres south of Auckland. Using locally sourced ironsand, lime and coal, New Zealand Steel produces around 600,000 tonnes of steel each year using a direct reduction process, turning west coast black sand into metallic iron. Around 60% of its steel and iron is exported to world markets. New Zealand Steel is part of the Bluescope Steel group of companies.
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