Sudanese Liquid Air Co. Ltd (SLA) is on the cusp of a turning point in its history, as it prepares to start a new era of liquid gas production in Sudan, supporting the rapid growth of the steel and oil industries in the African country.

SLA is bringing a new ASU on-stream at an investment of around $12m, due to start the production of liquid gases in Sudan this month.

Based in Khartoum, capital of Sudan, SLA was established in 1949 as a subsidiary of Air Liquide of France and is currently a subsidiary of the famous DAL Group.

SLA is starting its first liquid ASU in Soba, 30km from the centre of Khartoum. The newly installed unit, by the Chinese CNASPC, will start production of oxygen, nitrogen and argon in liquid form in February 2011, with a total capacity equivalent to 17 times its existing production capacity.

The new project is targeting to serve the oil companies and steel works that are developing rapidly in Sudan.

SLA will start new era of producing liquid gases in huge commercial quantities in Sudan. The new ASU, with a global cost exceeding $12m, will start production in mid of February and is located in the middle of the Soba industrial area.

The new ASU was specially designed for Sudan environmental conditions, with an advanced, reliable, practical and high performance instrument control system. The central control system adopts DCS in addition to local control. It is equipped with an on-line analyser with the ability to be monitored and controlled from the DCS central room, in addition to back-up UPS to assure continuous power supply for the control system for the whole air separation plant, and an auto start-up in case of power failure.

SLA is embarking on this historic development for the company, to fulfill the growing market demand for air gases in Sudan and neighbouring countries. The production capacity of the new ASU is 2000 NM3/hour oxygen, 2000 NM3/hour nitrogen, and 68 NM3/hour argon.

The oil industry in the country will benefit a lot from the production of liquid nitrogen, according to SLA, as it is used in large volumes for the maintenance of oil wells – and there is no other plant in Sudan that can provide such big quantities. Hospitals will also benefit, equipped with piping systems connected directly to liquid oxygen supply, by using liquid oxygen tanks.

Further still, argon will be produced for the first time in Sudan and will be available at a ‘reasonable price’ SLA said.
SLA is fully equipped with many mobile isolated tanks to transport the liquid products to its customers all over Sudan and to neighboring countries, in addition to its traditional fleet for cylinder distribution.