Russia: new major investment

April 5, 2011

Metallurgy is one of the main industrial sectors of Russia making a strong contribution to the country’s economy. This sector is expected to continue growing significantly and to pursue its modernization effort.

The Air Liquide Group, the world leader in gases for industry, health and the environment announces the signature of a new long-term agreement with Severstal, Russia’s leading steel producer. Air Liquide will supply oxygen, nitrogen and argon to Severstal’s new steel plant in Balakovo, located in the region of Saratov (Volga Federal District).

Air Liquide will invest, build and operate in Balakovo a new state-of-the-art Air Separation Unit (ASU) with a capacity of more than 300 tonnes per day of oxygen, which is scheduled to start up at year-end 2012. The Air Liquide plant will also produce liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen and liquid argon to serve the needs of other industrial customers in the regions of Saratov and Samara.

The Air Liquide investment amounts to a total of €40 million for the production facilities and supply chain altogether.

Pavel Ipatov, Governor of the Saratov region, stated: “We are delighted to welcome Air Liquide to our region, a company with long-term strategic development plans in Russia. I am convinced that the new plant in the Saratov region will be a reliable partner for local industrial enterprises. Moreover, I would like to highlight that this plant is being built in accordance with strict safety, energy efficiency and environmental requirements.”

Alexander Grubman, CEO of Severstal Russian Steel Division, comments: “The construction of this Air Separation Unit is the second mutual project of Severstal and Air Liquide. The signature of this new contract with Air Liquide is an important step in the development of our partnership based on the respect of both sides' interests”.

Guy Salzgeber, member of the Air Liquide Group Executive Committee, Vice-President North and Central Europe, declared: “We are pleased to see this new expansion of our partnership with Severstal after the success of our joint-venture in Cherepovets. Furthermore, this new ASU will enable Air Liquide to complete its geographical coverage of the Volga district for the supply of liquid gases to industrial customers, after investments already announced in Elabuga (Tatarstan) and Kstovo (Nizhny Novogorod). This new contract is symbolic of our continuous development in this high growth region. Developing economies are one of the growth drivers of the Air Liquide Group.”

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