Air Liquide has entered into a €40m ($47.4m) joint venture (JV) with energy and chemical company China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec), for the take-over and optimisation of three existing Air Separation Units (ASUs) and the building of a new nitrogen (N2) production unit.

The new JV, Air Liquide-BYPC Gases, is located in Beijing and will supply oxygen (O2) and N2 to Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Co. with a total capacity of 340 tonnes of O2 and 1,110 tonnes of N2 per day.

In the third quarter of 2017, Air Liquide also commissioned a new state-of-the-art ASU for the supply of O2 and N2 to Sinopec in South China. Located in Maoming City of Guangdong Province, the ASU supports the new ethylene oxide plant of Sinopec’s subsidiary, Maoming Petrochemical (MPCC), by supplying O2 (850 tonnes per day) and N2 (840 tonnes per day).

François Abrial, member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee supervising Asia Pacific, said, “The continuous expansion of our partnership with Sinopec showcases their confidence in Air Liquide’s ability to provide state-of-the-art technologies and competitive solutions. We are proud to provide our expertise to Sinopec, in support of their expansion in China.”

Sinopec is one of the largest integrated energy and chemical companies in China. Cooperation between Air Liquide and Sinopec dates back to 2007. The two parties have established three JVs so far.

Air Liquide in China operates nearly 90 plants and employs more than 4,000 employees today. With a strong presence in the key coastal industrial areas, the company is now expanding into the centre, south and west. Its main business activities include industrial and medical gas operations, Engineering & Construction (designing, manufacturing and installing ASUs/hydrogen facilities), as well as innovation activites.