Funding for Tata Steel air separation unit finalised

BOC India, a member of The Linde Group, has ended 2009 with the best-ever turnover in its 75-old history in India.

The company closed 2009 with a net sales turnover of Rs. 804 crore which was substantially higher than the previous year. There was 100 per cent business growth in project engineering with the gas business growing 25 per cent during 2009.

The net profit stood at Rs. 50 crore against Rs. 80 crore in 2008 when the company reaped a Rs. 24 crore interest income and an exceptional income of Rs. 25 crore mainly comprising sale of property and a gain from a finance lease arrangement. Keeping in view the need to conserve resources, the dividend was maintained at 15 per cent. The company has lined up a capital expenditure plan of Rs. 1,000 crore by 2011.

S. K. Menon, Managing Director, said the company had reached an important landmark earlier this year having completed 75 years of partnering Indian industry. Referring to the investment to set up the new 2,550 tonnes a day air separation unit (ASU) for Tata Steel at Jamshedpur, he said that once commissioned in 2012 this ASU would be the largest of its kind in India and would enable the company to consolidate its leading position in the Indian gases market. The company would invest about Rs. 550 crore in this project which would be funded through a mix of internal accruals and inter-company debt in foreign currency compliant with external commercial borrowing guidelines.

BOC, which sees itself as a one-stop solution to all businesses for gas supply and related equipment and services, also manufactures cryogenic and non-cryogenic vessels. It also designs and commissions projects. It has a major presence in food processing, medical, domestic and industrial use.

The Linde Group holds 89.48 per cent of the equity of BOC India through BOC Group U.K.

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