Air Products has announced that it has formed a joint venture with CNOOC Oil Base Group Ltd., one of the largest state-owned oil companies and the leading offshore oil and gas producer in the country.

The joint venture will build and operate an air separation unit and liquefier in Putian, Fujian Province, to produce liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon by using cold energy from liquefied natural gas.
It is the first application of LNG cold energy at an ASU plant in China.

Air Products will also build and operate the associated storage and distribution operations at the ASU plant to supply the liquid products to the local market in Fujian Province, a fast growing marketplace for industrial gases.

$quot;This is the first use of cold energy to make industrial gas products in China. We find Air Products is the best partner for this effort because it is a leader in the LNG industry and has a proven track record in ASU plant design and in reliable and safe operation,$quot; said Mr. Meng Liming, general manager of CNOOC Oil Base Group Ltd. $quot;Air Products also has the capabilities and expertise to market the products from this venture,$quot; added Mr. Meng.

Fujian Province plays a significant role in the dynamic pan-Pearl River Delta economic region. In 2006, it ranked ninth in the country for its industrial output. The electronics and petrochemical industries have become emerging pillars of Fujian's economy, and contributed nearly half of the total production value of Fujian's industry.

The ASU plant in Putian, Fujian Province is expected to come on-stream in 2009.