Rapid adaptation to the Covid-19 pandemic, the implementation of strict health standards to allow business continuity and the development of homeworking were all key highlights outlined by Air Liquide today (10th Feb) as it reported its full year 2020 financial results.

Read more: Air Liquide reports full year 2020 results

In arguably one of the most challenging years, the French industrial gas giant acted fast and by doing so was able to deliver lifechanging offerings for the healthcare sector admit the global pandemic.

Sharing its results today, Air Liquide confirmed that its healthcare sector has seen comparable growth of +8.5%, with the company’s medical oxygen deliveries and increased ventilator production playing a large part.

In addition to its medical oxygen and ventilator production efforts, Air Liquide last year also strengthened its home healthcare offering for diabetic patients in Germany and the Benelux and supports 10 scientific projects and 25 emergency social support projects.

Industry

Alongside its healthcare efforts, 2020 saw Air Liquide celebrate some major achievements in other sectors of its business. A standout moment for the company in September saw the finalisation of the acquisition agreement with Sasol for the world’s largest oxygen production facility, located in Secunda, South Africa.

Read more: Air Liquide finalises deal with Sasol

Numerous long-term contracts and investments resulted in some more great moments in 2020, including partnerships with BASF in Belgium, KGHM Polska Miedź in Poland, NLMK in Russia, and Eastman Chemical Company and Steel Dynamics in the US.

Major contracts for the company’s electronics sector were also celebrated, mostly in China and Taiwan.

Energy Transition

Hydrogen again was another key focus for Air Liquide, with a major achievement being the start-up of the world’s largest Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyser in Bécancour, Quebec (Canada). 

Read more: Air Liquide doubles capacity at Bécancour hydrogen complex with “world’s largest” PEM electrolyser

The industrial gas giant further celebrated numerous hydrogen mobility projects, including the construction of the first high-pressure hydrogen refuelling station in Europe, in Fos-sur-Mer in France, and launch of an initiative with the Port of Rotterdam to develop infrastructure which will allow 1,000 hydrogen-powered trucks to travel between the Netherlands, Belgium and Western Germany by 2025.

Read more: Air Liquide and Port of Rotterdam to launch 1,000 hydrogen trucks and infrastructure by 2025

Biomethane activities were also key for the company with the construction of two production units and a distribution station for local transportation companies being celebrated.

Read more: Construction underway on two Air Liquide biomethane production units

Corporate

Many acquisitions and divestments were  carried out in the year 2020. Sales of schülke to private equity firm EQT, and the sale of CryoPDP to French private equity firm Hivest Capital Partners were just two highlighted in today’s results.

Read more: Air Liquide completes divestiture of Schülke

Read more: Air Liquide completes sale of CRYOPDP

Additionally, Air Liquide acquired 80% of the capital of the French company Cryoconcept, specialised in dilution refrigeration, and successful launched a double long-term bond issue for a total of €1bn.

Read more: Air Liquide acquires 80% stake in Cryoconcept