Air Liquide has announced the signature of a new long term agreement with Tianjin LG Bohai Chemical Co. Ltd (LG Bohai).

LG Bohai is a joint venture between LG Chem of South Korea and Tianjin Bohai Chemical Industry Group Co., a leading Chinese chemical group. It will produce ethylene di-chloride (EDC) which requires large volumes of oxygen and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), the basis for PVC. LG Bohai will be located in Lingang park, the new promising industrial zone of Tianjin on Bohai Bay.

Under the terms of this agreement, Air Liquide will invest 20 million euros to install a large air separation unit (ASU) to supply gaseous oxygen, nitrogen and compressed air to LG Bohai. The unit will also supply other local industrial customers with gaseous or liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon. It is being designed and manufactured by Air Liquide Hangzhou, the Air Liquide engineering centre in China. Air Liquide will start to supply LG Bohai before the end of 2006.

Air Liquide has been steadily developing the Tianjin/Beijing market. Firstly in Tianjin in 1995, with the design and development of an ASU and two hydrogen units. Also present in Beijing since 1997, it recently strengthened its presence with a 430 tonnes per day ASU to supply in particular the semiconductor company BOE-OT, a leading flat panel manufacturer.

Jean-Pierre Duprieu, senior vice-president Asia-Pacific, said: \\$quot;We are very happy to accompany LG Chem in its development in China. This new project demonstrates the long-term fruitful cooperation with this company. It also represents another major step of our development in China by gaining another key position in the rapidly growing Tianjin market.\\$quot;

Mr. J.Y. Kim, president of LG Bohai added: \\$quot;LG Chem and Air Liquide have developed very good relations over the years. Our new plant in China will be first class and we are happy to outsource our industrial gas needs to Air Liquide.\\$quot;

Located 120 kms southeast of Beijing and with more than 10 million people, Tianjin is one of the most dynamic cities in China. It has a very long commercial and industrial history because of its ideal location close to Beijing and on the Bohai Bay.