BOC forms Chinese JV

BOC and Maanshan Iron & Steel (Ma Steel) have signed a contract to form a 50/50 joint venture to meet the growing industrial gases needs of Ma Steel in Maanshan City, China.

BOC and Maanshan Iron & Steel (Ma Steel) have signed a contract to form a 50/50 joint venture (JV) to meet the growing industrial gases needs of Ma Steel in Maanshan City, Anhui Province, China.

The JV, Maanshan BOC-Ma Steel Gases Company, will initially invest nearly $100 million in building and operating two large air separation units (ASUs) each capable of producing 1,400 tonnes a day of oxygen. The plants will produce a combined total of more than 5,000 tonnes a day of oxygen, nitrogen and argon and are expected to come on stream in 2007.

Separately, BOC’s subsidiary, BOC India, has been awarded the contract for supplying the gas requirements for an expansion programme being undertaken by Jindal Vijaynagar Steel Limited (JVSL) at Bellary, Karnataka, Southern India.

JVSL has a steel making facility at Bellary and is currently doubling its capacity at the site to four million tonnes a year. BOC India has signed a fifteen-year agreement to supply it with 1,400 tonnes per day of oxygen and nitrogen and proposes to build a new 855 tonnes a day ASU at Bellary. The plant will be commissioned by 2006. BOC said in a statement that it sees this latest investment of up to $40 million as a major move in developing its strategy in southern India.