Air Liquide has decided to invest 80 million euros in the construction of a second hydrogen production facility on the BASF site at the port of Antwerp in Belgium.

This major project is a further and significant stage in the relationship between BASF and Air Liquide.

In Antwerp, BASF is to build new facilities requiring significant additional quantities of hydrogen. One of the main production units will be the new propylene oxide plant to be built jointly with Dow Chemical. This new process is based on hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) that will be produced by a joint venture with Solvay utilizing Solvay\\$quot;s high productivity technology.

The Facility

The new Air Liquide facility will also meet the hydrogen needs of industrial enterprises located in the Antwerp and Rotterdam basin, through its connection to Air Liquide\\$quot;s 900-km long pipeline network.

This new hydrogen production facility is designed and constructed by the Air Liquide Engineering department. Producing 100,000m3/h, it will therefore double the hydrogen production capacity on the Antwerp site, affirming the Group\\$quot;s positioning in this basin. It is scheduled for startup at the end of 2007.

Partnership

John Dejaeger, President of BASF Antwerp commented as follows: \\$quot;We are very satisfied that Air Liquide follows us in our developments, as a true industrial partner. Our competitiveness is strongly supported by the ability of our partners to answer efficiently to our needs and this project is a new illustration of Air Liquide capability in such respect.\\$quot;

François Darchis, a member of Air Liquide\\$quot;s Executive Committee and Vice-President of Air Liquide Large Industries Europe, declared: \\$quot;This new investment by Air Liquide illustrates the high potential of hydrogen markets. BASF\\$quot;s continued confidence in our capability to meet their requirements is a great source of pride, since it shows an acknowledgement of our focus on performance, and our competitiveness in the day-to-day management of our industrial commitments to our customers.\\$quot;