Air Liquide has announced that it has signed 2 contracts to design and build large units for gas separation in the North Pacific Rim region with Posco in South Korea and Shenhua Ningxia in China, each with a production capacity of over 3,000 tpd of oxygen.

The French industrial gases company has signed a sales contract for 2 ASU’s with Posco, the fourth largest steelmaker in the world, each with a production capacity of 3,700 tpd of oxygen and ranking as the largest production capacities ever installed for a steelmaker. The oxygen produced will allow the Gwangyang and Pohang sites to meet the Posco Group’s increase in global steel production in South Korea.

Air Liquide has already supplied Posco with 15 units to separate gas from air on these two sites, and has been recognized by the steelmaker as the ‘Best supplier 2007’.

In China the group has concluded contracts with the Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group, a subsidiary of the Shenhua Group, for 2 ASU’s, each with a production capacity of 3,000 tpd of oxygen. The 2 units, which are considered to be the largest ever designed and built locally, will supply the oxygen needed for the synthesis of methanol and propylene from coal gasification.

François Darchis, Senior Vice-President in charge of Global Engineering & Construction and a member of Air Liquide’s Executive Committee, declared, “These new contracts in developing economies strengthen our international leadership. They demonstrate our expertise in oxygen production technologies, to an extent previously not possible. They came in 2007, which was a record year for Air Liquide Group’s Engineering & Construction, with a very high order book.”

Air Liquide’s Engineering & Construction teams, located in 10 centres throughout the world, design and build production units for the group and its customers and are constantly improving technological solutions to increase the units’ efficiency and reliability.

In 2007, Posco produced more than 31 million tonnes of steel, while the Shenhua-Ningxia Coal Industry Group is the leading coal company in China with 200 million tonnes of coal production a year and an extensive coal transportation network.