Air Liquide Engineering (ALE), an Air Liquide group subsidiary, has been mentioned in the Volcker Commission report.
This commission was initiated by the UN to investigate the contracts secured under its “Oil for Food” program between 1996 and 2003.
This program allowed Iraq, restricted by international sanctions at the time, to sell its oil and in return purchase basic human necessities and equipment supplies.
In April 2001, ALE signed a contract for standard replacement parts to be delivered to the Baiji refinery for oxygen production plants for an amount of 432,686 euros. In June 2001, the UN declared that this contract conformed to the requirements of Security Council Resolution 986 (1995).
The Air Liquide group has no operations in Iraq. Accordingly, to carry out this contract, ALE sub-contracted the transport and customs clearance to a local company. These services mentioned in the commission’s report, amounting to 34,614 euros (corresponding to USD34,272 at a euro/USD exchange rate of 1.01), were an integral part of the overall contract and were carried out as specified.
The contract was established in euros. The total amount paid of 432,686 euros was exactly the same as that specified in the contract. As the euro/USD exchange rates changed between the date of signature (1.167) and the date of payment (1.072), the values mentioned in USD in the commission’s report in fact represent the same amount.
In accordance with the group’s rules and procedures, ALE has completed this contract legally and in conformance with the UN’s initial approval.