DANBURY, Conn, December 16, 2003 — Tata Steel, India's premier integrated steel producer, has selected Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) for the on-site supply of oxygen, nitrogen and argon to meet the requirements of the company's planned capacity expansion to five million tons of steel per annum.
Under the 20-year agreement, Praxair India will build a state-of-the-art air separation plant with advanced control systems adjacent to Tata Steel's works at Jamshedpur in northeast India. The facility will have sufficient capacity to supply Tata Steel (TISCO) as well as serve the local merchant market.
“TISCO is a premier organization with world-class steel plants and we are looking forward to starting a long-term business relationship with them. Under this agreement, Praxair will be installing a reliable and efficient supply system to consistently meet Tata Steel's requirements," said Indrajit Mookerjee, managing director, Praxair India.
“This is an important project that represents a significant step forward for the growth of Praxair in India,” said Michael J. Douglas, president, Praxair Asia.
"We went through a rigorous evaluation process before choosing Praxair," said Dr.Tridibesh Mukherjee, deputy managing director-steel, Tata Steel. “Praxair’s plant configuration offers flexibility, coupled with overall cost effectiveness,” he added.
“I am happy that Praxair will be partnering with us in our expansion plans and will use their expertise to help improve the productivity of our plant,” said B. Muthuraman, managing director, Tata Steel.
In addition to the onsite air separation plant, Praxair has also been retained by Tata Steel to study and critically examine its oxygen, nitrogen and argon storage and pipeline distribution systems. The Praxair team will make use of its global resources and extensive knowledge of gases distribution in the steel industry to improve the productivity of the steel plant.
Tata Steel, part of the Tata Group of companies, is one of the lowest-cost producers of steel in the world. It has 43,000 employees and currently produces more than four million tons of steel each year.
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.
Susan Szita Gore