Air Liquide is pleased to announce a major commercial success in the growing Brazilian steel market.

An international partnership consisting of Air Liquide Brazil; White Martins, a wholly owned subsidiary of Praxair Inc; and ThyssenKrupp MinEnergy, a wholly owned subsidiary of the ThyssenKrupp group, has signed a twenty-year agreement to supply industrial gases.

The companies will supply ThyssenKrupp CSA Companhia Siderúgica, a joint venture between the German ThyssenKrupp Steel AG and Companhia Vale do Rio Doce of Brazil.

ThyssenKrupp CSA plans to construct a new integrated steel mill 60 kms south of Rio de Janeiro, which will begin operations in early 2009. It is expected to produce five million tonnes of steel slabs each year.

To meet the customer's needs, Air Liquide Brazil will build and operate air separation units owned by Air Liquide and White Martins to supply the steel mill with the industrial gases, primarily oxygen. The units will also supply blast furnace air and compressed dry air to the steel complex. The investment will be shared by members of the partnership and will have a production capacity of 3,000 tpd of oxygen.

Pierre Dufour, executive vice president, and member of Air Liquide's executive committee, said: $quot;This important success reinforces our position in South America, demonstrating the dynamism and efficiency of our teams and the quality of the relations we forge with our customers, in particular, in the field of steel and metals manufacturing, throughout the world.$quot;