In line with the continuous growth in demand for industrial merchant gases in the Western Europe market, Air Liquide is to invest €110m in Germany and Portugal in two production units for liquefied air gases such as liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen, and liquid argon.

In Germany, Air Liquide has decided to construct the unit in the region of Ulm in southern Germany, an area of strong growth and one of the company’s main sites for air gas liquefaction. This represents an investment of around €60m, while in Portugal, Air Liquide is to increase its production capacity in order to meet growth in its markets.

An investment of around €50m will be made at Sines, an industrial basin located 150km south of Lisbon, and comprises a unit that will produce liquefied air gases, as well as products in gaseous form for industries at the Sines site.

Guy Salzgeber, Vice-President European Industrial Business and member of the Group’s Executive Committee, declared, “These investments in Western Europe allow us to support our customers’ growing demand in these areas. These units benefit from the latest technologies in terms of the efficiency of electricity consumption and contribute to the group’s global objective in this area. They are part of the €10bn investment programme for the period 2007-2011 that the group is implementing to accelerate its growth.”

The industrial gases market continues to grow in Western Europe, energised by the manufacture of capital and infrastructure goods, by automobiles, the food industry and the photovoltaic market. By developing its production capacities in this way, Air Liquide is supporting the rise in its customers’ demand and is strengthening its presence in growth areas. The production units will start up between the end of 2009 and 2010.