Air Liquide announced today that it has been selected by Natgasoline LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCI N.V., as the supplier of oxygen for its new world-scale methanol plant in Beaumont, Texas.

Air Liquide will invest around €90m (more than $120m) in this high growth area for the chemical industry.

Air Liquide has entered into a new long-term agreement to supply Natgasoline with 2,400 tonnes of oxygen per day. To meet the growing needs of OCI for the production of natural gas-based chemicals, Air Liquide will build a new, state-of-the-art, energy efficient Air Separation Unit (ASU) producing oxygen, nitrogen and argon.

Connected to Air Liquide’s extensive pipeline network along the Gulf Coast in Texas and Louisiana, allowing for high reliability of supply, the ASU is expected to be commissioned by the second half of 2016.

The new Natgasoline LLC methanol plant will produce approximately 5,000 tonnes of methanol per day, making it the largest methanol production facility in the US based on capacity. Large quantities of pure oxygen are required for this method of large-scale methanol production.

Air Liquide, via its Engineering and Construction activity, also signed a contract with OCI for the supply of the Lurgi MegaMethanol® process technology to OCI’s Natgasoline facility. The MegaMethanol® Technology which converts natural gas to methanol is part of Air Liquide’s proprietary Lurgi technology portfolio.

The supply of oxygen, combined with this natural gas-to-methanol conversion technology, will provide this customer with an industry leading solution for large-scale methanol production. Through this combination of offerings, Air Liquide provides increased value for the customer.

Michael J. Graff, Air Liquide Executive Committee Member and Senior Vice-President for the Americas, commented, “Our recent agreements with OCI demonstrate Air Liquide’s unique turnkey capabilities as a global technology provider and industrial gas supplier of choice. We are pleased to grow our relationship with OCI and create value for them with safe, reliable and high-quality solutions.”