The Chilean economy is one of the most dynamic in Latin America. The country has enjoyed steady growth over the last 10 years and in January 2009 played host to the inaugural gasworld Latin American conference.

Now, as gasworld gears up for its second conference in the region, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Air Liquide has just confirmed its latest major investment – in the growing Chilean market.

Air Liquide has decided to invest in a new air gases plant in the Santiago region, close to Chile’s main markets. The plant, representing an investment of approximately €25m ($35m), will have a production capacity of nearly 150 tonnes per day of liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon.

The facility will allow the company to meet the growing needs for liquid and cylinder gases of the Industrial Merchant and Healthcare markets in the Central and Southern regions of Chile. It also follows last week’s announcement that Air Liquide Mexico is to invest more than €70m in the construction and operation of a new ASU in Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.

Air Liquide Chile celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2011, serving thousands of industrial customers, hospitals and patients throughout the country with seven locations. It notably supplies gaseous oxygen to the largest copper smelters of Chile.

This latest major investment signals the France-based group’s confidence in the Chilean economy, as President and CEO of American Air Liquide Holdings Inc., Michael J. Graff, explained.

He said, “We are very pleased to announce this investment in the Santiago region, representing Air Liquide‘s confidence in the Chilean economy, and our ability to meet the growing and more sophisticated needs of customers and patients in the region. Developing economies are a growth driver for Air Liquide.”

The new unit will be commissioned mid-2013. This plant will significantly enhance Air Liquide’s supply chain in the region and will offer customers greater flexibility, cost competitiveness and reliability.