Linde AG, a world top 500 industrial gases and engineering company based in Germany, and Shanghai Coking & Chemical Co. set up a joint venture in Wuwei county of Wuhu in Anhui province a couple of days ago.
The German business is the 36th overseas world top 500 to invest in the city, where up to 39 companies have been established by all those conglomerates.
With a total investment of US$13.8 million, 24 percent of which is foreign capital, the joint venture specializes in producing and trading carbon dioxide and related products.
The company is expected to have an annual capacity of 100,000 tonnes of edible carbon dioxide and provide an abundant supply of industrial gas to part of the province's food plants.
Linde AG is the third industrial gas investor this year, following French Air Liquide, the world's biggest privately run and multinational gas company, and Germany Messer. In addition, a joint venture co-founded by Praxair Inc.from the US and Hong Kong Yingde Gases was put into operation last year. Those four overseas gas giants are ranked among the top six in the world.
Such an investment surge in the industrial gas sector was largely sparked by the expansion of Wuhu's emerging strategic industries including opto-electronics, which boosts the market demand for industrial gas from nearby suppliers, a source with the Anhui Provincial Department of Commerce analyzed.
(By Zheng Weiling)