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Linde breaks ground on US$1.4b Jurong plant expansion

GLOBAL industrial gases and engineering group Linde broke ground on Tuesday for its upcoming US$1.4 billion integrated manufacturing complex in Singapore - the single largest investment in the company's history. 

Slated for completion in early 2023, the complex will be located and integrated with Linde's existing gasification facility on Jurong Island, and will quadruple Linde’s current production capacity of hydrogen and synthesis gas in Singapore. 

The ramp up of industrial gas production is to support key partner ExxonMobil Asia Pacific's multibillion-dollar expansion of its integrated manufacturing complex, said Linde chief executive officer Steve Angel at the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday. 

Linde is expected to double its operational staff strength upon completion of the new facility, which includes the addition of 70 high-value manufacturing jobs that require a broad range of competencies, said Sanjiv Lamba, executive vice-president and chief executive officer of Linde Asia Pacific. 

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"It's one of those projects that moves the needle. We have a large backlog of projects amounting to US$4.5 billion, and this latest project alone takes up US$1.4 billion of the total value. It is that significant to our company," said Mr Angel, who told BT that he expects "significant" top line growth, cash flows and bottom line performance with the opening of the new plant. 

This investment comes after the US$90 billion merger of Linde AG and Praxair six months ago to form Linde plc. 

Over the next four years, Linde will also be undertaking more projects in Singapore, including a series of modifications and interconnections to integrate the new complex and its existing facility to ensure continuity of gas supplies to its existing customers on Jurong Island during the construction period.