Gas giant set to spread wings

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By PINAKI MAJUMDAR in Jamshedpur
  • Published 16.11.06

Jamshedpur, Nov. 16: Praxair India Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of US-based Praxair Inc, has decided to invest Rs 300 crore for setting up a completely integrated gas plant in the steel city.

The plant would produce gases like oxygen, nitrogen and argon for industrial purposes and would exclusively cater to the industrial gas requirements of Tata Steel.

The managing director of Praxair India, John Panikar, who was in the city, told The Telegraph that the new gas plant with two units would come up at Garamnala in Bistupur. The unit would sprawl over 23,000 sq. m.

Necessary approval has been given by the state pollution control board for setting up the new plant.

“The first unit would be operational by March, 2008. The second one would start functioning by June in the same year,” he said.

The new plant would have a capacity to produce 1,800 tonnes of oxygen and 1,250 tonnes of nitrogen per day. The existing plant on the Tata Steel works premises produces 1,448 tonnes of industrial gases (including oxygen, nitrogen and argon) per day.

Praxair India, which is a Fortune-300 company, had commissioned its first unit in the city inside Tata Steel works last October investing Rs 150 crore.

The new fully integrated plant comes in the wake of the Tata Steel’s ongoing expansion programme.

According to Panikar, the company’s board of directors has also taken a decision to establish another gas plant at Usha Martin in the neighbouring Seraikela-Kharsawan district.

This plant would have a capacity to produce 150 tonnes of industrial gases per day and would require an investment of about Rs 30 crore.

Praxair India supplies industrial gases via advanced air separation plants and delivery systems that are both cost-effective and safe.

Panikar said Praxair India, with more than 35 operating locations, is the leading industrial gas supplier in India. It has consolidated annual sales of over $120 million.

The company started its operations in 1996 by setting up two state-of-the-art air-separation plants at Vijaynagar in a joint venture with Hindal Vijaynagar Steel Limited.

The plant also serves the merchant markets in the region. It consolidated its presence in southern India by establishing on-site plants for Kalyani Steel and St Gobain Glass.

It expanded its operation in the east by setting up a facility at Haldia. The global gas manufacturing giant has also taken a decision to set up a gas manufacturing plant at Durgapur.

The plant, which would be set up with an initial investment of Rs 200 crore, would supply industrial gases to Steel Authority of India Limited.

Healthcare products is another area of expertise of Praxair India. It provides 24-hour medical oxygen supplies to hospitals in major cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai.