Long Lasting Partnership Underpins $70 Million Investment 17 2 2012

The Minister of Economic Development, the Honourable Steven Joyce has turned the first sod of a new air separation plant which will supply products to New Zealand Steel under a new long term supply contract with NZ gases and engineering company BOC.

BOC will invest around $70 million in the new state of the art plant and associated equipment. Up to 120 people will work on the construction of the plant over the next two years. Once operating the facility will generate energy savings from the current production, equivalent to the annual energy needs of 1900 average NZ homes.

We are delighted to continue our long time partnership with BOC here in New Zealand, and recognise their commitment and investment with this new facility," said Simon Linge, President New Zealand Steel. With our commitment, BOC will be able to continue providing gasses to other industries and services, including hospitals."

"Our commitment to this new facility reflects our confidence in and commitment to the New Zealand economy and most importantly our customers." Simon concluded.

"The new contract for BOC to build a plant to supply air gases to New Zealand Steel for at least another 20 years is excellent news," said Mr Joyce. "It shows the confidence companies have in investing in our economy and the importance of having a strong manufacturing industry in New Zealand."

An air separation unit (ASU) separates atmospheric air into its primary components via cryogenic distillation. The new ASU will produce oxygen, nitrogen and argon. It will replace the existing plant which is approaching the end of its life.