Latin America: Air Liquide expands its business to Colombia

January 5, 2016

In the context of a contract with Coca-Cola FEMSA, the largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the world and the largest beverage company in Latin America, Air Liquide will build and operate a new facility consisting of a carbon dioxide production unit and a cogeneration unit1. This investment of around 40 million euros2 marks Air Liquide’s entry into the Colombian industrial gas market.

Under the terms of the agreement, Air Liquide will supply carbon dioxide as well as nitrogen, electricity, refrigerated water, compressed air and steam to Coca-Cola FEMSA’s largest bottling facility in Colombia, located in the municipality of Tocancipá, Cundinamarca, approximately 40 kilometers north of Bogotá. Air Liquide’s new facility in Tocancipá is expected to begin commercial production in late 2016.

Air Liquide’s new facility will employ at least 30 people. It will be located within the Permanent Free Trade Zone FEMSA Industrial Park3. Additional carbon dioxide produced by Air Liquide’s facility will be available to the surrounding market.

Latin America offers development prospects for Air Liquide. Colombia, the fourth largest economy in Latin America, shows attractive growth potential supported by robust industrial and manufacturing activity, a rapidly expanding economy and abundant natural resources. Air Liquide is well-positioned to meet the growing needs of the region, supplying products, services and technologies to help industry improve safety, efficiency and productivity.

Air Liquide also supplies industrial gases and utilities to two of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s major bottling facilities in Brazil, in the cities of Itabirito and Jundiaí.

Michael J. Graff, Senior Vice-President for the Americas and member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee, commented: Our entry into Colombia provides a major opportunity for Air Liquide as we establish our presence in this strategic market and further expand our presence in Latin America. We are very pleased to have reached this milestone in our working relationship with Coca-Cola FEMSA, a long-term partner of Air Liquide. We look forward to our continuing partnership and to supporting Coca-Cola FEMSA’s growth in Latin America by supplying safe, reliable and sustainable solutions.

1 Cogeneration unit: produces steam and electricity simultaneously from natural gas and water
2 Air Liquide investment decision made in the 1st half of 2015
3 The Permanent Free Trade Zone FEMSA Industrial Park is designated as a Colombian permanent free trade zone

Air Liquide is present in 14 countries across North America, Central America and the Caribbean, and South America. Air Liquide companies in the Americas offer industrial and medical gases, technologies and related services to customers in many industries including energy, industrial manufacturing, electronics and healthcare markets.

Industrial gases such as purified and liquefied carbon dioxide are primarily used in the bottling process to provide carbonation in beverages.