Air Liquide has been selected by Chinese petrochemical company Yuhuang Chemical, Inc., as the supplier of oxygen for its new world-scale methanol manufacturing complex to be built in St. James Parish, Louisiana.

Air Liquide will invest around $170m (around €140m)* in this high growth area for the chemical industry.

The new Yuhuang Chemical methanol manufacturing complex will produce approximately 5,000 tonnes of methanol per day, making it one of the largest methanol production facilities in the US based on capacity.

Air Liquide has entered into a new long-term agreement to supply Yuhuang Chemical with 2,400 tonnes of oxygen per day. 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 system in Louisiana, providing enhanced reliability of supply, the ASU is expected to be commissioned by the second half of 2017.

Air Liquide, via its Global Engineering & Construction activity, also recently signed a contract to license its leading MegaMethanol® process technology to Yuhuang Chemical. The MegaMethanol® Technology which converts natural gas to methanol is part of Air Liquide’s proprietary technology portfolio.

In providing a stable long-term oxygen supply and proprietary natural gas-to-methanol conversion technology, the Air Liquide group further demonstrates its leading position in offering an integrated value proposition for large-scale methanol production.

Charlie Yao, Chief Executive Officer of Yuhuang Chemical, Inc., commented, “Our new agreement with Air Liquide for our first world-scale methanol unit in the US will be integral in supporting our ambition of becoming a global player in the petrochemical industry.”

Michael J. Graff, Senior Vice-President for the Americas and member of Air Liquide group’s Executive Committee, also said, “Air Liquide is pleased to enter into this new collaboration with Yuhuang Chemical to supply their oxygen needs in the US Gulf Coast. The sustainable value we create through our safe, reliable and high-quality technology solutions supports them as they broaden their business in the US and abroad.”

*Investment decision taken end of 2014 and converted at year-end exchange rate.