SOXAL: new contract with Shell’s major project in Singapore

May 7, 2007

Singapore Oxygen Air Liquide Pte Ltd (SOXAL) has just signed a new contract to supply oxygen and nitrogen to Shell’s new cracker and mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) plant in Singapore. In order to meet Shell’s new gas requirements, SOXAL will invest in a new 1,200 tonnes per day air separation unit (ASU) to be integrated with its existing five ASUs and pipeline network in Jurong Island. This new unit is expected to be on stream by 3rd quarter 2009. A separate on-site nitrogen generator will also be installed at Pulau Bukom, where Shell’s refinery is located, to meet nitrogen requirement to the new Shell cracker.

Among different applications, mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) is used notably in the textile industry to make polyester fibers. MEG is a downstream product of the ethylene oxide production, made from the oxidation of ethylene by adding oxygen. SOXAL will provide the nitrogen necessary for inerting at different stages of the process, as well as the oxygen used for the oxidation.

Singapore has the highest trade to GDP ratio in the world (368%). It has successfully developed its economy around the manufacturing industry, especially in electronics and petrochemicals. The petrochemical activities of Singapore are concentrated on Jurong Island, in the southwest, an international refining and petrochemical platform which is expanding rapidly. Jurong Island has attracted investments of over 15 billion euros from the world's leading companies and this figure is expected to increase to 30 billion euros over the next 10 years.

This success has also enabled SOXAL to renew a number of existing agreements with Shell joint-venture petrochemical companies. Shell’s integrated refinery and petrochemical project, named the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex, was announced by Shell Group as its largest-ever petrochemical investment in Singapore. The two new world-scale plants will serve as crucial raw material providers to Asia’s growing chemical markets. SOXAL, as a gas supplier to Shell’s refineries and petrochemical plants, has an active part in this project.

Jean-Pierre Duprieu, Senior Vice-President Asia-Pacific and member of the Executive Committee of Air Liquide, states: We are very pleased that Shell has chosen us for this project, and we thank Shell for its trust in Air Liquide. This new project will enable SOXAL to further strengthen the capability and reliability of its pipeline network in Jurong Island, and will reinforce the global business partnership that Air Liquide has successfully forged with Shell across the globe. It also illustrates our new capacity to pursue our development in South-East Asia in a quicker and more integrated way.

Air Liquide, operating in Singapore since 1917 through Far East Oxygen, an entity that was integrated into SOXAL in 1975, has made significant investments in Singapore, considering it to be a key market through which to capitalize on South-East Asia's dynamic growth. SOXAL, the leader in the Singapore market, employing 600 people recognized for their high levels of expertise, supplies gas and services to numerous semi-conductor manufacturing facilities as well as to the petrochemical facilities on Jurong Island. SOXAL combines good current economic performance with strong prospects for future growth. SOXAL became a 100% affiliate of Air Liquide in April 2007.