Praxair Volgograd LLC, a subsidiary of Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX), has announced the start-up of its first large-scale air separation plant in Volgograd, an industrial region in southern Russia. This plant will produce oxygen, nitrogen and compressed air for Kaustik, a division of the Nikochem Group, under a long-term contract. The highly-efficient plant has a capacity of 350 tons per day and will reduce Kaustik’s electricity consumption at the site by approximately 30 percent. The plant will also supply merchant products to local markets such as metals, metal fabrication, glass, automotive, food, electronics and healthcare. “The Volgograd facility represents our vision to become a world-class industrial gases organization in Russia,” said Todd Skare, president of Praxair Europe. “The start-up of this plant will allow Praxair to efficiently and reliably supply Kaustik, while also supplying liquefied and packaged gas products in the region and nearby areas where we see enormous potential for growth. We have received the full support of the Volgograd administration for this project and are confident that we will continue to identify opportunities for additional investments in the region.” “We are excited that a company like Praxair, which operates in more than 50 countries worldwide, is beginning its operations at the Kaustik site,” said Eldor Azizov, general director of Kaustik. “This will not only improve our efficiency and lower our production costs, but will be an important step to further develop the chemical industry in Volgograd. Praxair’s investment further solidifies our intention to modernize and develop our production facilities. This opening reinforces that our business model is in line with the best international standards of industrial cooperation.” Praxair has invested in four major projects in Russia with combined production capacity greater than 3,500 tons per day of gaseous and liquid oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and argon. The new air separation units and hydrogen plants are, or will be, located in the Volgograd, Sverdlovsk, Rostov and Nizhniy Novgorod regions and will supply a diverse group of customers in the steel, chemical and glass industries with reliable industrial gases at competitive prices.