Oryx GTL and GASAL Q.S.C., Air Liquide’s subsidiary in Qatar, have signed a long-term oxygen supply agreement after Oryx GTL decided to increase its production capacity.
Gas-to-liquid technology, which consists of converting natural gas into liquid fuels, is an attractive option for making the most of abundant gas reserves. This technology produces a fuel that has the high energy efficiency of diesel while producing less pollution.
Oryx GTL is a SASOL / Qatar Petroleum joint venture that produces clean diesel, naphtha and LPG.
Its first commercial gas-to-liquids (GTL) unit, located in Ras Laffan, Qatar, is the largest GTL unit in service in the world. GTL production capacity is rapidly increasing in Qatar, thanks to the North Field, the world's biggest reserve of natural gas.
Oryx GTL and GASAL Q.S.C. have signed a long-term oxygen supply agreement to cater for the increased production capacity.
GASAL will invest US$70m (more than €47m) in a new oxygen and nitrogen production unit with a capacity of 750 tonnes of oxygen per day.
The new unit, designed and built by Air Liquide Engineering, will be commissioned at the end of 2010.
It will further reinforce GASAL’s industrial gas production asset base in Ras Laffan Industrial City. GASAL will then have two production sites in this key industrial basin, thanks to the successful start-up earlier this year of a nitrogen unit for Ras Laffan Olefin Company.
Besides, the new GASAL unit will be the base for gaseous nitrogen supply to GASAL’s nitrogen pipeline network currently under construction in Ras Laffan.
The total production capacity of nitrogen available in the network will be more than 1,500 tonnes per day.
This ASU will also produce liquid gases, which will serve as a reliable source for other customers in Qatar and in neighbouring countries.
Pierre Dufour, Senior Executive Vice-President of the Air Liquide Group, responsible for the Middle East Region commented, “With this new, large scale project in Qatar, Air Liquide is proud to be the selected outsourcing partner of Oryx GTL through its subsidiary GASAL.”
He added, “We will be able to support the growing needs of our long-term customer Sasol and of our partner Qatar Petroleum. It is a further illustration of Air Liquide’s commitment to the development of emerging economies, one of the Group’s growth drivers.”