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The CIS is exhibiting encouraging signs of industrial gas investment as Air Liquide enters into a key supply contract with regional firm, Metinvest.

Metinvest, a conglomerate of vertically integrated metals and minerals companies, has signed a new long term supply contract with industrial gas giant, Air Liquide.

According to the new supply contact, Air Liquide will supply oxygen, nitrogen and argon for Yenakiievo I&SW of Metinvest in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. In order to accommodate this deal, Air Liquide will invest €100m in the construction of a new air separation unit. The facility has won joint financing with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Guy Salzgeber, vice president of North and Central Europe and a member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee, conveyed the honour felt by this alliance, stating, “We are greatly honored that Metinvest has chosen Air Liquide as its long term partner for this first outsourcing of their industrial gases. In addition to the investment of the new Air Separation Unit for Metinvest, Air Liquide plans to build up in Ukraine high level technical and operating expertise to support its long term development in this important market for industrial gases. This success in Ukraine illustrates our increasing development in this zone of Europe. Developing economies are one of the growth drivers of the Group”.

The ASU will be designed, built and managed by Air Liquide in accordance with the latest international safety requirements. Design capacity of the unit will comprise 1,700 tonees of oxygen, nitrogen and argon per day, while commissioning is planned for mid 2014.

Igor Syry, CEO of Metinvest was equally positive about the deal, “This project is one of the important steps in the implementation of the strategic development of Metinvest. In selecting Air Liquide as our partner, the world leader in the industrial gas market, we will benefit from their state-of-the-art technologies and operational standards in environmental and safety performance. Metinvest will provide all the necessary assistance to help our partner grow and establish a sustainable business here in Ukraine. It is my belief that the success of this project will serve as a good example in the industrial development of Ukraine”.