"A recent major development in the region includes a US$1.4 billion investment to expand our existing gasification complex on Singapore’s Jurong Island. This marks the single largest investment in the history of Linde."

Can you give an overview of Linde and its presence in the region, highlighting some recent developments?

Linde operates in over 100 countries and we are the largest industrial gas company by market share and revenue. Our diversified business model serves multiple industry sectors, including manufacturing, metals, chemicals, healthcare, electronics, and food. A recent major development in the region includes a US$1.4 billion investment to expand our existing gasification complex on Singapore’s Jurong Island. This marks the single largest investment in the history of Linde. The construction is moving ahead at full speed, and we expect completion within the next two years. Upon completion, it will quadruple our present capacity on Jurong Island.

How has Linde managed the challenges of the pandemic?

As a producer of medical oxygen, Linde played a very critical role in the region during the pandemic. We took extraordinary measures to keep our plants running, so that healthcare professionals and institutions can continue saving lives. Our employees went beyond the call of duty to maintain business continuity and uphold our supply commitments, all while observing health and safety measures and keeping themselves safe. Like all businesses, we had to manage the economic impact of the pandemic, but our diversified and resilient business model allowed us to quickly get back on the recovery and growth track.

What trends do you observe in the industrial gases market?

First, there is tremendous growth in the metals space, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, as metals producers are implementing new technologies. Secondly, industrial gas companies are pushing towards decarbonization. As a global leader in sustainability and the only company in the chemicals sector to be admitted in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, Linde has been making huge strides on this front. For example, we recently announced an investment with Hyosung Corporation in Korea to build Asia’s largest liquified hydrogen facility. The third promising growth segment is in the electronics sector.

As a leader in the production and processing of hydrogen, how does Linde see the role of this gas playing out in the future?

Hydrogen’s role in energy security has significantly accelerated in recent years due to a stronger push globally to limit carbon emissions as well as the falling costs of renewables and hydrogen technologies. Linde is already the world leader in the entire hydrogen value chain, from production, processing, storage to distribution and end-use applications. For example, we have the largest liquid hydrogen capacity and distribution system in the world, and an unrivalled pipeline network of around 1,000 km. We are therefore one of the few companies who can truly fulfil the promise of the hydrogen economy. For hydrogen to reach critical mass of adoption, there must be a collective will and commitment from society, governments and all segments of industry. This is already happening in Asia, with countries like China and Korea committing to concrete hydrogen roadmaps. From hydrogen powered trucks in Switzerland to hydrogen buses in Malaysia and Australia, Linde is working on more than 100 opportunities globally to expand our footprint in the hydrogen economy.

How is Linde implementing digital tools to increase efficiency in your business?

In 2018, we established the Asia Pacific Digitalization Hub in our regional offices in Singapore and have replicated its success in other APAC countries such as Australia and India. Some of the digital innovations that we have built include advanced analytics to improve the reliability of our equipment, a customer-facing app that tracks deliveries, and enhancing the remote operability our plants.

What are Linde’s key objectives for the next three years?

In Singapore, we are investing to supply gases not just in the traditional refineries business, but also to supply complex industrial gas mixtures and specialty electronic gases through automated production and warehousing operation to serve the local and regional demand. We continue to focus our efforts, on the one hand, to serve the opportunities in fast-growing markets like Vietnam and Indonesia and the moderate-growth countries like Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand, and on the other hand, to accelerate energy transition and efficiency in operations

Do you have a final message for our audience?

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion to our business success. We make it a point to hire from diverse ethnicities and nationalities. We also have a high representation of women in senior leadership roles. This diversity in perspectives strengthens our decision-making and problem-solving, allowing us to deliver innovative solutions and a high level of service to our customers.