A new 15-year contract has been signed with Romanian based glass manufacturer Saint-Gobain for an ASU.

The air separation unit (ASU) will be used to facilitate Saint-Gobain’s operations at their new float-glass manufacturing site of Calarasi, 100 km south west of Bucarest in Romania.

Under the term of the agreement, Air Liquide will design, install and operate a new ASU to supply up to 2,000m3 /h of nitrogen to Saint-Gobain. This unit producing liquid nitrogen and oxygen will have spare capacity to serve other industrial customers in both Romania and the nearby part of Bulgaria.

Air Liquide will invest approximately €10 million in the project and is expected to go on-stream in September 2006.

About 100m3 /h of hydrogen will also be provided to Saint-Gobain from Air Liquide’s HYOS on-site electrolysers. Hydrogen and nitrogen will be used by Saint-Gobain to provide a protective atmosphere for the tin bath phase used in the manufacture of window panels.

Executive Vice President of Air Liquide and Chairman of its European Management Committee Klaus Schmieder said, “ We are very pleased with this new development for a leading group like Saint-Gobain which we also serve in many other countries. Calarasi is close to the Bulgarian border and the Black sea region, both fast growing areas with high industrial potential. Our new production capacity will significantly reinforce our position in Central Europe.”