Air Liquide has today (2nd March) announced plans to invest up to €86m in hydrogen and nitrogen production units in Kazakhstan.

Sharing details of its plans, the industrial gas giant said it will acquire the units from Atyrau refinery, owned by KazMunayGas. Once acquired, Air Liquide will modernise the units.

Such investments will be carried out through the company’s 75% owned joint venture Air Liquide Munay Tech Gases (ALMTG) as part of an effort to increase its presense in the country.

In the framework of a new long-term agreement, ALMTG will operate these assets to supply industrial gases to the Atyrau refinery. Up to 200 million Nm3 of hydrogen and up to 50 million Nm3 of nitrogen will be produced annually on the site.

Commenting on the announcement, Francois Jackow, Executive Vice-President and a member of the Executive Committee supervising Europe Industries activities, said, “We are pleased to reinforce the collaboration we have been building with the market leader KazMunayGas since our entry in Kazakhstan.”

“This new agreement illustrates our continued commitment to providing long-term expertise and innovative environmentally responsible solutions to our customers. With this investment - the most important we have yet announced in the country - to increase energy efficiency and provide reliable supply, we will contribute to the modernization and development of the country’s industry.”

ALMTG is a respectively 75% and 25% owned joint venture between Air Liquide and KazMunayGaz (KMG), the Kazakhstan National Oil & Gas company.

For more than 2 years, ALMTG has been successfully operating hydrogen and nitrogen production units for KMG’s refinery of Pavlodar.