Air Liquide has today (24th June) finalised the acquisition of Sasol’s 16 air separation units (ASU), located in Secunda, South Africa, which make up the biggest oxygen site in the world.

Now the approximately €480m transaction is complete, Air Liquide Large Industries South Africa will operate the site that has a total installed capacity of 42,000 tonnes per day.

The industrial gas giant has said it plans to reduce the sites CO2 emissions by 30% to 40% within the next ten years. All 16 ASUs taken over from Sasol will be integrated in Air Liquide’s accounts starting from today (24thJune).

As part of the deal Air Liquide will also welcome more than 220 new employees who will continue to operate ASUs.

Commenting on the deal, Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, said, “The finalisation of this deal is a key milestone in our ambition to work together with Sasol, our partner for 40 years, to combine operational efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions while making a meaningful contribution to the economy of South Africa.”

“We are pleased to welcome the employees who are joining us from Sasol and are looking forward to modernising the site and implementing our decarbonisation plan. In line with our strategy, and with our commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, this operation demonstrates our resolve to act now in favour of the climate and local ecosystems.”

To the new site, Air Liquide said it will bring its expertise in implementing highly mastered operational practices, state of the art technologies, modernisation investments and digital capabilities to optimise the operation of the ASUs and the energy consumption.

Additionally, Air Liquide and Sasol have launched a Request for Proposal (RFP) to pursue supply of 600 MW of renewable energy to the operations in Secunda by 2025. The RFP is part of the joint commitment to pursue procurement of a total of up to 900 MW of renewables by 2030.