Chemical & Processing
Oil & Gas
Pharma Biotech
Infrastructure & Design

Quest to Preserve Technology Leadership
Dr Reinhart Vogel, Managing Director, Linde Engineering India. Established in 1987 as a subsidiary of Linde AG, Germany, LEI is a full EPC service provider for the chemical and petrochemical industry. In the last 10 years the company has increased its workforce from around 100 to 650+ and plans to further increase the workforce in the current fiscal year.

Linde Engineering India(LEI) is fully integrated into the global operation of the Linde Engineering Division. As a technology and EPC service provider it enjoys a leading position in many areas of the chemical and petrochemical industry, mainly in olefins, polymers, air separation, hydrogen and synthesis gas, natural gas treatment, fine chemicals and biotechnology. As a fully developed EPC execution center LEI from Vadodara supports the execution of large international projects of Linde Engineering and also provides its EPC competency for the domestic market. Linde operates another EPC center in Kolkata which is focusing on the specific product of Air Separation Plants.

Currently LEI is executing the detail engineering for the world’s largest gas cracker (ethylene plant) to be built in Abu Dhabi. This is a typical example for a large work-share project for which Linde Engineering Germany executed the conceptual design up to 30 percent of model review and thereafter the entire project had been shifted to Vadodara for further execution.

Projects in India
LEI recently completed a Hydrogen Generation Plant for the IOCL refinery in Barauni, Bihar. A particular challenge in this project was the timely execution of the site works in all construction disciplines. The local environment in the region required utmost efforts and a high level of experience / expertise to complete a project of such size within the anticipated time frame.

We completed this project in time and without Lost Time Incident thanks to thorough and detailed planning of all site activities, the availability & implementation of several contingency plans, the deployment of additional resources, the flexible & intelligent project execution as well as the excellent cooperation with the client and the nominated PMC – Projects & Development India Limited (PDIL).

Another example for our operation is the Sulphur Recovery Project which we are currently executing for the HPCL refinery in Mumbai. For this project LEI is performing the full EPC scope based on a process license of an American company for the Claus process.

Core Competencies & Growth Drivers
Linde Engineering is a technology driven company and as such is allocating year by year huge funds to further develop its core competency and to maintain the technology leadership. But there are many other factors for an international EPC company operating from various locations around the globe which are important for a permanent improvement of its market position. The most important factors among-st them are uniform, transparent and streamlined execution processes, continuous improvements, Six Sigma, local presence, customer orientation, close vendor relationship, strict focus on quality, HSE, continuous training and development of human resources.

The group is consequently utilising the advantages of modern design tools and software. Besides the continuous improvement of the capabilities and capacities of commercially available engineering and design software, Linde is investing substantial amounts in the development of proprietary IT tools leading to significant improvements in design quality and efficiency. These in-house developments are resulting in a competitive edge for Linde in engineering design integration and automation.

Linde initiated internal projects under strict and high level management control targeting a High Performance Organisation. These projects are centering around four dimensions, Customer Focus, Process Excellence, Ability to Execute and People Excellence. Linde Engineering India is fully integrated in this improvement processes and plays a leading role in some of these projects and subprojects.

Another strength of Linde Engineering is the global integra-tion of its procurement processes. As internationally acting EPC company it is essential to utilise fully the sourcing opportunities from Best Cost Countries. Vendors in India are developing their products and their capabilities very fast and thus are able to provide to the EPC market high quality equipment and materials at very competitive prices. For that reason Linde placed one of its Procure-ment Centers in Vadodara serving not only our Indian operation but also international projects of our engineering entities abroad.

Employees: Basis of Success
At Linde Engineering we combine a long heritage with a drive for continuous improvement, innovation and high performance. Our employees are the heart & the soul of our organization & thus the basis of our success. Our company culture is based on our corporate values 'passion to excel', 'innovating for customers', 'empowering people' and 'thriving through diversity' as well as on our principles 'safety, integrity, sustainability and respect'. The continuous development of a performance mindset and the focus on personal development in line with our values and principles are our essential management targets and tools.

Issues & Challenges in the Next Decade
The world economic crisis changed significantly the business environment for engineering companies. New players have been established in the market and competitive pressure has increased significantly. In addition to the projects of our traditional clients in Middle East we see currently significant investments and mega-projects coming up in Asia and to some degree in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Our organisation is responding to these changes with rigorous optimisation and integration of our processes to enhance our competitiveness. Further we are focusing on technology leadership as well as the persistent development of our engineering execution centers in India as well as in China. Especially for European engineer-ing companies we shall see in the next years a gradual shift of their detail engineering and procurement operation towards Middle East and Asia.

With engineering operations in India and in China we believe that Linde is well positioned to face these challenges.

Technology Up-gradation from Management Perspective
One of the competitive advantages of Linde as an engineering company is the technology leadership in key areas of the chemical and petrochemical industry. In order to maintain this technology leadership one has to invest in their improvement continuously. Strong R & D facilities in Munich, Germany are supporting the improvement of established processes and are the basis for the commercialisation of new developments.

The feedback from the turn-key execution of many projects including commissioning, start-up and test operation helps our engineers and scientist to improve permanently our technologies to the benefit of our clients. A further key element to maintain the technology leadership are our manufacturing centers in Schalchen, Germany and in Dalian, China.

At both sites Linde is manufacturing core components for air separation plants, such as plate fin heat exchangers made of aluminum and cold boxes as well as spiral wound heat exchanger which are used in special applications in the chemical/petrochemical industry and during liquefaction of natural gas.

Growth Areas in Next Decade
For India we expect to see a stable and above-average growth. Huge investments in the power sector as well as in infrastructure will pave the way for strong and stable developments in other industrial sectors. Soaring feedstock and energy prices as well as rising awareness for the protection of the environment will increase the political support and will lead to investments in areas such as clean energy, LNG, coal gasification, biotechnology, etc. Linde is following these global trends very closely and is set to support the industry with innovative technologies and EPC solutions.

Vision 2020
The vision is to become a leading engineering company in India serving the domestic market as well as assisting the global operation of the Linde Engineering Division. As the premier provider of innovative, environmentally responsible solutions, we shall offer to our clients a unique and flexible approach to project execution with state of the art turnkey capability, proven and sustainable global partnering strategies and world class engineering know how.

Linde will further commit to its values for growth as earlier described. At the same time one needs to be aware of constant changes in the market place and local requirements. The ability to react in time and in a qualified and professional manner will be one of the key components for sustainable growth.