Engineering: two new contracts for very large oxygen production units

February 13, 2008

Air Liquide’s Engineering & Construction teams, located in ten centres throughout the world, design and build production units for the Group and its customers, and are constantly improving technological solutions to increase the units’ efficiency and reliability. Air Liquide has just signed two contracts to design and build very large units to separate gas from air, each of them with a production capacity of over 3,000 tonnes of oxygen per day: with Posco in South Korea and with Shenhua Ningxia Coal in China.

Air Liquide has signed a sales contract for two Air Separation Units with Posco, the fourth largest steelmaker in the world, each with a production capacity of 3,700 tonnes per day of oxygen. These are the largest production capacities ever installed for a steelmaker. The oxygen produced will allow the Gwangyang and Pohang sites to meet the Posco Group’s increase in global steel production in South Korea. Air Liquide has already supplied Posco with 15 units to separate gas from air on these two sites, and has been recognized by the steelmaker as the “Best supplier 2007”.

In China, Air Liquide has completed contract with the Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group, a subsidiary of the Shenhua Group, the global number two for coal production, for two Air Separation Units, each with a production capacity of 3,000 tonnes of oxygen per day. These two units, which are by far the largest ever designed and built locally, will supply the oxygen needed for the synthesis of methanol and propylene from coal gasification.

François Darchis, Senior Vice-President in charge of Global Engineering & Construction and a member of Air Liquide’s Executive Committee, declared: These new contracts in developing economies strengthen our international leadership. They demonstrate our expertise in oxygen production technologies, to an extent previously not possible. They came in 2007, which was a record year for Air Liquide Group’s Engineering & Construction, with a very high order book.

Posco produces in 2007 31.1 million tons of steel with sales of 22,207 billion Korean won. Air Liquide has already sold 15 production units to this Group at the Gwangyang and Pohang sites in South Korea.

Shenhua-Ningxia Coal Industry Group is a main subsidiary of Shenhua Group founded in 1995. Shenhua Group, 84 billion RMB sales by end of 2006, is the leading coal company in China with 200 million tons of coal production a year and an extensive coal transportation network.