The world leader in industrial and medical gases is investing in two new carbon dioxide recovery units.

Earlier this week, gasworld reported that one of the main European financial services companies, Société Générale, had predicted Air Liquide would be the most resilient player in the current global economic downturn.

It seems its claims were accurate, as despite the tough financial conditions, Air Liquide has announced it will invest nearly €20m in the European market in industrial applications for carbon dioxide, essentially food processing and water treatment.

To support the continuing growth of the market, which currently stands at 3% growth per year, Air Liquide will invest in two CO2 recovery units, one in Bazancourt, France and one in Rozenburg, the Netherlands.

The new units will mean CO2 will be purified and liquefied for reuse instead of being released into the atmosphere.

The Bazancourt unit, which will be commissioned at the end of 2009, will recover 120,000 tonnes of CO2 per year and will include rail links to the site, reducing road transport.

The Rozenburg unit, scheduled for commissioning in the first half of 2010, will recover 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, in particular to respond to demand created by strong growth in the greenhouse cultivation market in the Netherlands.

These investments come in addition to the CO2 liquefaction unit in Geleen in the Netherlands, where a third extension was commissioned in October 2008, representing an additional production of 80,000 tonnes per year.

The addition of the two new units will make Air Liquide’s total European carbon dioxide capacity will be increased by more than 250,000 tonnes from 2008 to 2010.

Guy Salzgeber, Vice President for European Industrial Operations and a member of the Group’s Executive Committee, commented on the new investments, “These new investments in Europe, in addition to those at Geleen, will anable us to increase our carbon dioxide recycling capacity by 25%.$quot;

He added, $quot;This will allow us not only to meet the needs of our customers in this market; it will also significantly improve supply-side stability as the Group continues its policy of targeted investments in growth markets.”