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Médias / Reportages / Covering all bases

Covering all bases

2007-01-12

Linde Gas Austria supplies the small pub as well as the big steel plant

A pioneer of his day and age, Carl von Linde invented the air separation process in 1902. From those humble beginnings to global player: Von Linde’s breakthrough invention was the stepping stone for the Linde Gas success story over the past century. 
 
Nowadays Linde Gas products span the entire globe and may travel thousands of kilometers to reach customers around the world - even in the most remote areas. In the heart of Austria, at the Linde Gas Production centre in Linz, however, gases stay right in the neighborhood and supply one of the country’s largest industrial complexes.


Linz is one of numerous Linde Gas production facilities in Austria, and it mainly produces nitrogen, oxygen, and rare gases such as argon, krypton, and xenon. Local customers acquire 90% of the production, and only 10% actually hit the open market. Located on the same premise as Linde Gas, the Austrian steel giant voestalpine Stahl and the near-by chemical complex Chemiepark Linz require gas quantities at varying flow rates.
 
Accounting for about 78% of the Linz plant’s overall production, nitrogen is widely used in the chemical industry and in food technology, for example. “It is used in many areas of the food industry,” says Deputy Plant Manager Franz Stangl, “Take the frosting of hamburgers, for example, or the cooling of baked goods.” 
 
As a whole, Linde Gas Austria, an Atlas Copco client, produces hundreds of different gases and serves some 42,000 customers in Austria, while covering a host of applications. “We have a very large mix of products,” says Roland Wenninger, Sales Director for Linde Gas Austria, “There’s hardly a segment that we do not service. We’ll supply, say, a locksmith, a farmer, or a pub. And we also serve the huge industrial facilities as well.” Case in point: Linz. The customers voestalpine and Chemiepark Linz receive their gas through on-site pipelines. 
 
Compressor is the plant’s “refrigerator”

To cover this broad range, Linde Gas Austria requires suppliers that can meet these diverse needs and provide solutions for different gases. Over the last three decades, Linde Gas in Linz acquired Atlas Copco machines for different sections of the plant, including numerous expansion turbines, an argon compressor, and another turbocompressor for air supply. 
 
One of the 11 Atlas Copco machines used in Linz is employed inside the LZA9 – Austria’s largest air separation unit. Linde Gas uses a four-stage GT040 (with feedgas and subsequently installed booster turbines) as a recycle compressor for nitrogen. It reaches a maximum capacity of 75,000 Nm3/h and a pressure of 28 bar. It can produce up to 45.000 Nm3/h of oxygen, 40,000 Nm3/h of nitrogen, and roughly 10,000 Nm3/h liquefied gases.
 
“The compressor is the LZA9’s refrigerator,” says Stangl.
 
In other words: no matter in which of the many applications the Linde Gas nitrogen will be used – it all starts right here, at the “coolest spot” of the plant.