Air Liquide recently signed a new long-term contract with Kumho Mitsui Chemical Inc (KMCI), a major chemical group in South Korea, according to which Air Liquide will increase its supply to this customer of both hydrogen and carbon monoxide at the Yeosu industrial complex. Under the terms of the new agreement, Air Liquide will invest around €100 million1 to build a new, state-of-the-art hydrogen production unit.
The new SMR (Steam Methane Reformer)2 , designed, manufactured, owned and operated by Air Liquide, will increase production capacity in Yeosu of both hydrogen and carbon monoxide by around 50%. The new unit, fully integrated with Air Liquide's existing hydrogen and carbon monoxide supply system, will support the expansion of KMCI's chemicals production at Yeosu.
Yeosu is the largest isocyanate production complex in South Korea and the nation’s second largest industrial park. Isocyanate is employed in the production of polyurethane foams, rubbers, elastomers and resins which are used in many everyday applications in the sectors of construction, automobiles, home appliances, and other equipment.
Expected to start operations in 2020, the new SMR will be designed and built by Air Liquide’s Engineering and Construction teams using world-class technologies to offer energy efficiency as well as optimal safety and reliability. It enhances Air Liquide’s local production network and strengthens the Group’s leadership position in a key industrial area of South Korea.
François Abrial, member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee supervising Asia Pacific, said: “We are pleased to strengthen our long-term partnership with KMCI and to enhance our investment into the promising and dynamic Yeosu region. As this new contract illustrates, South Korea represents an attractive investment destination in Asia for Air Liquide due to its integrated industrial base and strong innovation capabilities. We look forward to continuing the sustainable expansion of our operations there, in step with the country’s overall economic development.”
1 Investment decided in Q4 2017.
2 By steam reforming natural gas, an SMR produces hydrogen and carbon monoxide.
Air Liquide Korea has been present in South Korea since 1996, providing industrial gases and related services to major industries (petrochemical, oil refining, steel, automotive, and renewable energy, etc.) Today, Air Liquide operates 4 main affiliates in Korea: Air Liquide Korea for Industrial gases & services, VitalAire Korea for Home healthcare equipment & services, Air Liquide Solutions Korea for electronics gases & services, and Air Liquide Advanced Materials Korea for cutting edge production and development of advanced materials.
Offers gas and energy solutions that improve process efficiency and help achieve greater respect for the environment, mainly in the refining and natural gas, chemicals, metals and energy markets. In 2016, revenues were €5,037 million.