BOC and New Zealand Steel sign air gases supply contract

23-Feb-2012 - New Zealand

New Zealand gases and engineering company BOC Ltd and New Zealand Steel announced they had agreed a long term industrial gas supply contract that will be critical to New Zealand Steel's ongoing iron and steel making operations at Glenbrook.

BOC will invest around $70 million (around EUR 56 million) in new air separation plant and associated equipment to supply products to the New Zealand air gases market. This investment is underpinned by a contract with New Zealand Steel to serve the air gas needs of that plant's production for at least a 20 year period.

The plant will replace an existing plant that is approaching the end of its useful life. It will feature increased production and storage capacity enhancing reliability of supply and potential for growth for New Zealand Steel. The plant will also supply increased quantities of liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon to the broader New Zealand air gases market for other vital applications such as medicinal use, food freezing & packaging, and metal fabrication.

Up to 120 people will work on the plant's construction over the next two years. Once operating, the state of the art facility will generate energy savings from the current production; equivalent to the yearly energy needs of 1900 average New Zealand homes.

BOC South Pacific Managing Director, Colin Isaac, said the new infrastructure would enable BOC to deliver efficient and cost-effective supply of air gases to its growing New Zealand customer base.

BOC expects to complete construction of the new plant in December 2013.

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