Further investments in France and the Netherlands

January 29, 2009

The European market in industrial applications for carbon dioxide, essentially food processing and water treatment, represents 3 million tonnes per year and has been growing steadily by 3% annually. To support this growth, Air Liquide, the European leader in this market, is investing in two new carbon dioxide recovery units, one in Bazancourt, France and one in Rozenburg, the Netherlands, for an overall investment of nearly €20 million.

The Bazancourt unit will recover 120,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and will be commissioned at the end of 2009. This investment will include rail links to the site, reducing road transport. The Rozenburg unit, scheduled for commissioning in the first half of 2010, will recover 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, in particular to respond to demand created by strong growth in the greenhouse cultivation market in the Netherlands.

These investments come in addition to the carbon dioxide liquefaction unit in Geleen in the Netherlands, where a third extension was commissioned in October 2008, representing an additional production capacity of 80,000 tonnes per year. In all, Air Liquide’s total European carbon dioxide production capacity will be increased by more than 250,000 tonnes from 2008 to 2010. Thanks to these new production units, carbon dioxide will be purified and liquefied for reuse instead of being released into the atmosphere.

Guy Salzgeber, Vice-President for European Industrial Operations and a member of the Group’s Executive Committee, commented: “These new investments in Europe, in addition to those at Geleen, will enable us to increase our carbon dioxide recycling capacity by 25%. This will allow us not only to meet the needs of our customers in this market; it will also significantly improve supply-side stability as the Group continues its policy of targeted investments in growth markets.”