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March 11, 2013

Linde takes over JV OCAP in the Netherlands

Gerald Ondrey

The Linde Group (Munich, Germany;, has acquired the remaining shares of its partner Volker Wessels Stevin Deelnemingen in the OCAP joint venture (Organic CO2 for Assimilation by Plants). With immediate effect, the supplier of industrial gases is thus the sole shareholder. The acquisition enables The Linde Group to reinforce its position in the global energy and environment growth market as one of the leading suppliers of clean technologies for its Clean Energy Program.

The OCAP JV was founded in 2003. Up until now Linde owned 49% and Volker Wessels Stevin Deelnemingen 51%. The employees were provided by the two partners. In future Group subsidiary Linde Benelux will have full responsibility for the operational business of OCAP.

OCAP is a leading player in a very special market segment: as the supplier of gaseous carbon dioxide in the Benelux region OCAP delivers CO2 to greenhouses between Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The CO2-enriched atmosphere in the greenhouses promotes the growth of plants. The gas comes from the largest Shell refinery in Europe and an Abengoa bioethanol plant, both situated in the industrial harbor area of Rotterdam. If it was not used in greenhouses, the CO2 needed in the greenhouses would have to be produced by conventional means by burning natural gas.

Currently about 400,000 metric tons (m.t.) of CO2 is delivered to more than 580 greenhouses via a 97-km long transport pipeline and an approximately 200-km long distribution network. A smaller portion of the gas is delivered to the food industry and used to keep products fresh.

The re-use of 400,000 m.t./yr of CO2 by OCAP saves the combustion of 115-million m3 of natural gas and avoids the emission of 205,000 m.t./yr of CO2. This volume approximately corresponds to the output of a west European city with a population of 150,000.


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