Air Liquide has signed three new long-term contracts, which include the construction and operation of a new nitrogen removal unit (NRU), in the Antwerp Basin with German chemical company BASF.

Leveraging on five existing onsite production plants in the Antwerp basin, the contracts also include a 15-year agreement for the renewal of Air Liquide’s air gas supply to existing installations and provide additional oxygen to a new ethylene oxide plant to be built by BASF. 

In addition, Air Liquide will purchase part of the methane fraction generated during the BASF production process and valorise it as a feedstock in its hydrogen production plants at the site contributing to circular economy and reducing CO2 emissions by up to 15,000 tonnes per year on the Antwerp site.

The French industrial gas giant will build the NRU to supply BASF with high purity gas to enable a more efficient production of MDI, an important chemical component that is used in house insulation, helping save energy in buildings and other applications.

The new NRU is scheduled to be operational by mid-2021.

Francois Jackow, Executive Vice-President and a member of the Executive Committee supervising activities in Europe, said, “The signature of these new contracts demonstrates Air Liquide’s extensive capabilities to develop innovative and sustainable solutions and to create value for its customers over the long term.”

“It also reflects our commitment to support our customers meet the challenge of the energy transition in line with our Climate Objectives.”