Tier One giant, Air Liquide, has further strengthened its position in China after signing a new long-term contract to build a new air separation unit (ASU) for one of the largest integrated energy and chemical companies in the North Pacific rim country.

Under the new agreement with Maoming Petrochemical Co. (MPCC), a subsidiary of China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec Corp.), the French industrial gas business will invest approximately €40m ($45.6m) in the new ASU.

Once on-stream, the facility will be able to produce a total capacity of 850 tonnes of oxygen (O2) per day. It is expected to start operations in the second quarter of 2017.

The new site, located in Maoming City of Guangdong Province, will supply O2 and nitrogen (N2) to MPCC’s both new and current ethylene oxide plants.

François Venet, Vice-President of Asia Pacific at Air Liquide, highlighted, “Their decision to outsource to Air Liquide their industrial gases need on this new project demonstrates MPCC’s confidence in our capability to provide innovative solutions and deliver safe operations, which further strengthens our strategic partnership. This new agreement also illustrates our wish to develop our activities in China over the long-term.” 

Strengthened position

The two companies have a well-established business relationship after forming a joint venture, ALMPCC, back in June 2012. It is understood that it is this partnership which will own and operate the new ASU.

This new agreement also illustrates our wish to develop our activities in China over the long-term


Lu Weiqun, Deputy Manager of MPCC and Vice-Chairman of ALMPCC Board, reinforced, “ALMPCC has seen great successes in recent years. Through the new project, we expect ALMPCC to contribute more to the development of MPCC as well as to that of the local economy.”

This new contract reinforces Air Liquide’s position in the North Pacific rim country, after signing a contract with Chinese outfit Xinneng Energy to build a new €60m ($65m) ASU, as well as celebrating its 20th anniversary of its engineering and construction facilities in Hangzhou, at the beginning of the year.