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Belarusian industrial gas producer now sells argon to Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova

The Belarusian industrial gas producer BMZ-GKS, which was founded by Belarusian Steel Works (BMZ trademark) among other parties, started selling argon to Bulgaria, Romania, and Moldova in 2016, BelTA learned from Alexander Olesik, Press Secretary of the Belarusian steel manufacturer BMZ.

The first few batches of argon were delivered to Poland in late 2015. Argon has many applications in the production sector. In 2016 the company managed to considerably expand the geography of sales. BMZ-GKS sold about 200 tonnes to non-CIS states. Argon is primarily used in metallurgy for welding, cutting, and smelting of rare metals in an argon environment. Argon can also be used to remove impurities from metals.

In May 2015 the industrial gas producer BMZ-GKS commissioned an air separation plant. The project’s implementation allowed the Belarusian steel manufacturer BMZ to stop buying oxygen from other suppliers. The company used to buy 40% of the oxygen it needs for steel smelting from other vendors. With the new air separation plant up and running, BMZ was able to reduce its prime costs. Since then the steel mill has bought over 100 million m3 of oxygen, 12.7 million m3 of nitrogen, and 855,000m3 of argon. BMZ buys up to 95% of the industrial gases the air separation plant produces.

The main domestic buyer of the liquid oxygen BMZ-GKS makes is the scrap metal recycling company Gomelvtorchermet. The Belarusian automobile engineering company BelAZ buys argon from BMZ-GKS while the white goods manufacturer Atlant (based in Minsk and Baranovichi) buys nitrogen. The agricultural machines manufacturer Gomselmash buys small amounts of oxygen. Cooperation with these companies was established via a tender.

The limited liability company BMZ-GKS is a joint venture founded by OAO BMZ — Managing Company of BMC Holding, OOO Belmet (Austria), OOO Belastahl (Germany), OOO Iron Trade (Russia), and OAO Pskovvtorchermet (Russia).