A joint venture project in China will see the construction of the country’s first air separation unit that uses LNG cold energy, in the Fujian province.

The first application of cold energy from LNG at an ASU plant in China, the joint venture will build and operate an ASU and liquefier in Putian of the Fujian Province, producing liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon.

The project is a scheme between Air Products and CNOOC Oil Base Group Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the country’s leading offshore oil company.

Meng Liming, general manager of CNOOC Oil Base Group Ltd, said, “The project is one of CNOOC’s key efforts to enhance energy efficiency and protect the environment. And making use of cold energy from LNG is strategically important.”

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

Capable of producing 300tpd of liquid oxygen, 300tpd of nitrogen and 10tpd of argon, a total investment of $39.9m has been made and the project is expected to come on-stream in the first half of 2009.