DANBURY, Conn., July 23, 2003 — Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) has signed an additional 10-year licensing agreement with the Brazilian steel company, Sistema Usiminas, for application of Praxair’s patented CoJet® gas injection technology at a second basic oxygen furnace (BOF) at Usiminas.
The signing of this new licensing agreement can partly be attributed to the success that Sistema Usiminas has had with its first application of the CoJet technology. It also is a natural extension of the close working relationship that has developed between Praxair Metals Technologies and Sistema Usiminas which includes their agreement to demonstrate the coherent jet technology at their site and provide technical assistance to future CoJet system licensees.
"Requesting the CoJet system license for vessel #4 at Ipatinga is an important step forward for both companies," reports Charles J. Messina, vice president of Praxair Metals Technologies. "It is now clear that this technology is delivering important benefits to Sistema Usiminas, and we look forward to even greater improvements as we work together."
Oxygen and other industrial gases are required by steel producers to refine steel. Praxair estimates that CoJet technology can save integrated steel producers up to $5 per ton of steel produced, depending upon the level of existing process technology and refining procedures of the mill. The integrated steel segment produces more than 500 million tons of steel per year worldwide. Praxair also estimates that an average steel mill will achieve 100% return on its capital investment within the first year after start-up. This expansion of the technology into integrated steel mills is a natural extension of the success the CoJet system has enjoyed in the smaller electric arc furnace (or "mini-mill") steel segment.
The CoJet gas injection system delivers a laser-like supersonic jet of oxygen into the molten steel bath of a steel furnace. It uses a lance and lance tip design with a patented injector nozzle that delivers coherent streams of oxygen more than five times the normal distance from the nozzle tip while maintaining their original diameter and velocity. As a result, the oxygen jets penetrate more deeply into the molten bath, providing more controlled and intense bath mixing.
Praxair Metals Technologies is the Praxair business unit responsible for the development, marketing and licensing of Praxair's technology for process control software and technical services in energy conservation, product quality and productivity in steel, aluminum and other metals customers around the world. For more information, visit us on the Internet at www.praxair.com/metals.
Sistema Usiminas, one of the world's largest integrated steel producers, has 8,400 employees, and sales in 2002 totaling 8.4 billion Reais from the sale of 7.7 million metric tons of finished steel, manufactured from a total production of 8.4 million metric tons of steel. The company, headquartered in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais State in east-central Brazil, will install the CoJet technology at its Ipatinga location.
Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2002 sales of $5.1 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com.
CoJet is a trademark of Praxair Technology, Inc.