The Linde Group has entered into a long-term supply agreement with Austrian steel producer voestalpine to deliver industrial gases to its Linz production site.

The E62 million contract involves the construction of an additional on-site air separation plant.

Dr Aldo Belloni, a member of the Linde executive board, said: Since 1994, when Linde assumed responsibility for the operation of voestalpine’s air separation plants, we have continued to develop our collaboration with the company. We are delighted that this project will enable us to continue to support the expansion of our most important Austrian customer.

The contract, which will extend and supplement the existing supply agreements, will be managed by Linde Gas Austria. The new air separation plant is due to come on stream in January 2010. It will supply the voestalpine steelworks in Linz by pipeline with up to 30,000 cubic meters each of gaseous oxygen and nitrogen per hour. The plant is also expected to produce liquefied oxygen, nitrogen and argon, as well as smaller quantities of krypton and xenon for the open market.