Air Products’ leading proprietary technology will be vital to Algeria’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility at Arzew.

The company has announced that it has signed an agreement with Saipem to provide its proprietary process technology and main cryogenic heat exchanger for Sonatrach’s GNL3Z liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Arzew, Algeria.

Sonatrach will produce 4.7m metric tons per year (mmtpy) of LNG, making the Arzew facility train the largest single LNG producer in Algeria. Air Products’ LNG technology and equipment, which produces the largest majority of the total worldwide LNG, is to be delivered to the western Mediterranean port site by October 2010.

Saipem, in joint venture with Chiyoda of Japan, is the contractor on the project for Sonatrach, the national energy company of Algeria.

Air Products will be providing the GNL3Z LNG project its liquefaction process technology and its MCR® main cryogenic heat exchanger, which is the heart of the natural gas liquefaction process. This proprietary Air Products process is the propane pre-cooled mixed refrigeration process with SplitMR® machinery configuration.

This novel LNG process is currently in operation globally in four LNG trains and will be employed at an additional five LNG trains now under construction around the world. Air Products has already delivered its main cryogenic heat exchanger equipment to these five projects.

This is the second time in little more than a year that Air Products will supply its proprietary technology to an LNG project in Algeria, having previously announced in 2008 its involvement with the 4.5 mmtpy Sonatrach facility being constructed at Skikda.

Jim Solomon, Director of LNG at Air Products said, “We are pleased to be working with Saipem on this project for Sonatrach. Air Products and Sonatrach have worked together on LNG and other projects for over three decades. To be working on what will be the largest-ever LNG projects in Algeria at Arzew and Skikda demonstrates the confidence Sonatrach has in the performance and reliability of our propriety technology and equipment.”

During this greater than 30 year time span, Air Products’ technology has now been selected by Sonatrach in the development of 14 LNG trains in Algeria. Air Products and Sonatrach also participate in a helium joint venture at Arzew.