DANBURY, Conn., October 25, 2010 — Praxair Gulf Industrial Gases LLC has finalized an agreement with United Steel Company (SULB) B.S.C., a closely held company in the Kingdom of Bahrain, to supply oxygen, nitrogen and argon for use in its direct iron reduction plant and steel melt shop. The plant will be located in the Al-Hidd industrial area in Bahrain and is due to start up during the fourth quarter of 2012.
As part of the agreement, Praxair will build a new air separation plant with an oxygen capacity of more than 350 tons per day. The plant will also produce liquid products for sale to the regional merchant market. The air separation plant will be owned and operated by a company majority-owned by Praxair and in which its joint venture partner in the Middle East, the ROC Group, has an investment.
“This business agreement with Praxair is consistent with SULB's strategy to outsource non-core operations to experienced global partners who can bring value to our steel project through their operational expertise,” said Khalid A Al-Qadeeri, SULB's chairman and managing director. “SULB selected Praxair after a global competitive bidding process and we are confident that Praxair, with its long experience in supporting the steel industry, will provide us with safe, reliable and efficient operations.”
“We are delighted to be partnering with SULB on its new steel project at Al-Hidd, Bahrain,” said Todd Skare, president of Praxair Europe and Middle East. "The agreement confirms Praxair's commitment to establishing a fully integrated industrial gas business in Bahrain and neighboring countries, in collaboration with our JV partner, the ROC Group of Kuwait. The signing of this contract is a result of Praxair's competitive supply system, integration with our established JV partner and a flexible design that best meets the customer's gas supply needs now and in the future.”
United Steel Company (SULB) B.S.C. is a joint venture between Bahrain-based Gulf United Steel Holding Company (Foulath), the Middle East's leading steel investment and holding company, and Yamato Kogyo Co., Ltd of Japan, a leading global beams and structural sections producer. Foulath and Yamato Kogyo own 51% and 49% of SULB, respectively.
Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2009 sales of $9 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair’s products and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a diverse group of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, electronics, energy, food and beverage, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com.
Susan Szita Gore