Air Liquide, an industrial gases company with a significant presence in the Middle East, recently articulated its intentions to invest further in the region.
The French company is to support its steel customers in the Middle East by investing nearly €60m in new production units. In particular, Egypt, Qatar and Syria will be beneficiaries of the new investment.
Senior Executive Vice President of the Air Liquide Group, Pierre Dufour, commented, “Air Liquide is proud to meet the growing needs of its customers and accompany them in their geographical expansion. Today, the Group has a unique strategic position in the Middle East which generates significant growth. The emerging economies are one of the Group’s growth drivers.”
The industrial zone of Sadat City, located between Cairo and Alexandria, will feature one of the new units. Air Liquide has penned an agreement with the steel manufacturer, EZZ, to supply gaseous oxygen. Consequently, the Group is to commission a production unit which will offer a daily capacity of 110 tonnes of gaseous oxygen. The unit is scheduled for start-up towards the end of 2011.
Air Liquide’s subsidiary, GASAL, is set to sign a new long-term contract with Qatar Steel. Under the agreement, a new oxygen production unit will be added to the existing two. The unit is to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2012, and will increase the total oxygen production capacity on the site to 650 tonnes of per day.
Syria is to see its first collaboration with Air Liquide, in the form of a new production unit. The facility will supply oxygen at a daily rate of 200 tonnes per day to the steel producer, Medsteel, and shall be located in the relatively young industrial city of Adraa, near Damascus. The works will also produce liquid nitrogen and argon which will contribute to the industrial gases market across the Levant region.