Linde Invests in China/Malaysia
German industrial gases group Linde has signed a fourth agreement with Wanhua Chemical, this time to expand gas supply to phase two of the Chinese company’s Yantai operations.
Under this latest deal, Linde will spend €108 million to build two additional steam-driven air separation units (ASUs), complementing the site’s two existing ASUs, in order to meet Wanhua’s growing demand for industrial gases. The plants are due to go on stream in 2019.
Linde said Yantai will be one of its most advanced gaseous and liquid production sites in Asia-Pacific, with the operational modes of multiple ASUs optimized to meet the differing type and volume of gases required at the complex.
Wanhua Chemical’s CEO, Liao Zengtai, commented: “Wanhua Chemical is increasingly looking beyond China to drive growth of our business. Today, nearly a third of our products are scheduled for export and this will continue to grow.”
Linde currently has supply agreements with Wanhua Chemical, which is credited with being the world’s largest isocyanates producer, in Yantai and Ningbo, China, as well as in Kazincbarcika, Hungary.
Separately, Linde said it will invest €30 million to expand its gas and liquid capacities to meet growing demand in central Malaysia. Its subsidiary Linde Malaysia will build a new ASU at its base in Hicom Industrial Estate, which will be integrated into the group’s pipeline network of plants in Hicom and Bukit Raja. The expansion is expected to be completed by 2018. This will also form the cornerstone of a renewed and expanding oxygen supply scheme to Japanese glass manufacturer, Nippon Electric Glass Malaysia.
Connell Zhang, managing director for Linde Malaysia, said the growing demand for liquid products reflects a positive outlook in the Malaysian market. “There continues to be a healthy growth momentum and expansion activities across a variety of industries in the central region,” he noted.
Liquid product from the new investment will serve various industries throughout central Malaysia, including electronics, healthcare, food and beverage, metallurgy and glass.
Linde said Malaysia is a key contributor to its growth strategy in Asia. The company has spent more than €230 million in the country in the past two years alone. In April 2016, Linde announced plans to build an ASU in East Malaysia, which is expected to start up this year. In addition, it is partnering Petronas Gas in a joint venture to invest €150 million to build an ASU at the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex.
More recently, in May 2017, Linde launched southeast Asia’s first automated cylinder filling plant in Banting, Malaysia, which has a maximum filling capacity of more than 2 million cylinders per year.