Air Liquide has today announced the commissioning of two air separation units (ASU) in South Vietnam, investing nearly €30m in the plants and related supply chain.

Describing itself as the ‘historical leader in North Vietnam’ Air Liquide is ready to build on this strong position and is currently undergoing new developments in the southern regions of the country.

The company has announced the commissioning of two ASUs in South Vietnam, the first of which s based in the Saigon High Tech Park where Air Liquide has signed a long-term contract with one of the world’s leaders in the semi-conductor industry, and will be supplying gaseous nitrogen to this customer's largest assembly and test unit.

The ASU will be able to produce 100 tonnes per day (tpd) of liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon for the region’s customers.

Located in the Phu My industrial park, one of South Vietnam’s main industrial parks and located near Ho Chi Minh City, the second ASU has just been commissioned.

Air Liquide supplies air gases and hydrogen by pipeline to steel customers and the second ASU boasts a production capacity of 190 tpd of liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon - in addition to gaseous nitrogen production.

A significant market
Jean-Pierre Duprieu, Senior Vice-President for Asia-Pacific and a member of Air Liquide’s Executive Committee, declared positively, “With four ASUs covering two main industrial basins in the north and the south, and the largest installed production capacity in the country, the group confirms its leadership ambition in Vietnam.”

“Air Liquide is proud to contribute to the growth of this country's economy and recently received the first Golden FDI Award (Foreign Direct Investment) from the Vietnamese government, which recognises the top performing foreign companies in Vietnam.
With nearly 90 million inhabitants, Vietnam represents a significant market for Air Liquide. Emerging economies remain a growth driver for the group.”

With GDP expansion expected to reach nearly 5% in 2009, Vietnam enjoys a robust economic backdrop that favours industrial development. The industrial gas market in Vietnam supports traditional industrial sectors such as steel, glass, construction, chemicals and automobile, but also high technologies.

In addition to the newly announced ASUs, Air Liquide is strengthening its leading position with another recent success in the country’s north. The group will deliver to HQCEC (Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering Corporation) a unit with a capacity of 1,200 tpd, designed and built by the Engineering teams of Air Liquide Hangzhou.

The Vietnam National Chemical Corporation (Vinachem) will be the user and operator of the unit based in Ninh Binh, 90km north of Hanoi, and when the facility starts up at the beginning of 2012, it will be the largest ASU in Vietnam.