DANBURY, Conn., July 23, 2003 — Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) has signed a CoJet® gas injection system license agreement with Cosipa (Companhia Siderúrgica Paulista), an integrated steel maker in Brazil. Cosipa, a subsidiary of Sistema Usiminas, is the second steel mill to license the patented CoJet technology for use in its basic oxygen furnace (BOF). Sistema Usiminas was the first company to sign a commercial CoJet technology agreement.
The CoJet system consists of a proprietary oxygen lance with a patented tip which delivers a laser-like supersonic jet of oxygen into the steel bath resulting in better metallic yield from the steel refining process. At Cosipa, the CoJet technology will be used to reduce costs and increase productivity, with the benefits being shared between Praxair and Cosipa.
Cosipa's superintendent, José Erasmo Andrade Pereira, estimates that the CoJet technology will be installed by the end of 2003. "My expectation is that we will see the benefits from Praxair's CoJet system about four months after the installation of the equipment."
"We are very excited about continuing the global commercialization of Praxair's CoJet gas injection system," stated Charles J. Messina, vice president of Praxair Metals Technologies. "The license agreement with Cosipa is an important step in the growing use of CoJet technology in the integrated steel-making market."
The integrated steel market produces more than 500 million tons of steel through basic oxygen furnace shops annually. Praxair estimates that an average-sized steel production unit is able to get a 100% return on capital within one year of implementation.
Cosipa had a 2002 income of 3.4 billion Reais on sales of 3.5 million tons of steel products. The company manufactures flat steel products such as slabs, heavy plates, hot-rolled and cold-rolled steel. In 2002, Cosipa sold 2.1 million tons to domestic market and exported 1.4 million tons. The company has invested about US$1.1 billion in environmental, health and safety and renovation programs throughout its industrial complex, one of the most expensive programs of steel sector restructuring. Today Cosipa is part of a select group of companies with certificates in quality (ISO 9001 version 2000), environment (ISO 14001) and safety and work health (OHSAS 18001).
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.
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.
Susan Szita Gore