AIR LIQUIDE has announced the signing of a 20 year contract between its subsidiary Shuaiba Oxygen and Equate Petrochemical Company.

This new 20 year contract provides the new Equate site in Shuaiba (Kuwait) with the supply of oxygen, nitrogen and compressed air. The site includes an ethylene production facility, two polyethylene production facilities and a glycol ethylene production unit.

Shuaiba Oxygen is set to invest nearly 70 million euros in an air separation unit with a capacity of 1, 500 tonnes per day of oxygen, which will be commissioned during the third quarter 2008.

Ron LaBarre, Group Vice-President Large Industries and member of the Executive Committee of Air Liquide, said: \\$quot;With this contract, the Group is demonstrating its capacity to develop markets in new territories and to accompany major international customers like Dow Chemical all around the world. We are also proud to create new partnerships with leading companies such as P.I.C. With this first long-term contract in Kuwait, Air Liquide is expanding its presence in the Middle East.\\$quot;