South Africa: a major development

February 6, 2012

South Africa is a country with vast natural resources and a growing infrastructure. Air Liquide has been an industrial partner of this country for more than 50 years.

Air Liquide has just signed a major long-term contract with Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium, the second-largest steel producer in South Africa.

Investment in a new Air Separation Unit (ASU) with a capacity of 770 tonnes of oxygen per day, expected to be commissioned at the end of 2013, will ensure the supply of oxygen. The use of this gas helps to improve steelworks productivity and energy performance whilst reducing atmospheric emissions.

This new ASU will also produce liquid oxygen, nitrogen, and argon to meet growing demand from South Africa’s industrial merchant market.

The facility will be designed and manufactured by Air Liquide Engineering & Construction teams using the Group’s latest technologies, which offer high levels of energy efficiency and reliability.

The overall investment amounts to around €40 million.

This investment follows investments in a new ASU in KwaZulu-Natal and in Africa’s largest argon production unit, both commissioned in 2011.

Pierre Dufour, Senior Executive Vice-President of the Air Liquide Group supervising the Africa and Middle East Zone, said: “This contract is a another milestone for the Group in South Africa as it represents a major improvement in our position in a growing market. Air Liquide is the fastest growing player in Southern Africa and this will also allow us to expand our footprint in the Sub-Saharan zone. Developing economies are one of the Group’s growth drivers.”

Mike Garcia, CEO of Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Air Liquide for the supply of oxygen and other gases, which are critical to our processes. Air Liquide brings worldwide experience and we are convinced it will deliver the reliability we require.”

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