Air Liquide signs ‘significant’ joint venture in Russia


Following an ebb in development, metallurgy in Russia is set to grow over the next four years. Estimates predict an average annual growth of 6%, while volume is expected to breach 80 million tonnes of steel production output in 2014.
With such promise, it is perhaps unsurprising that Air Liquide has entered into a contract for the outsourcing of industrial gases at Severstal’s integrated steel mill in Cherepovets.
Guy Salzgeber, member of the Air Liquide Group Executive Committee and Vice President of North and Central Europe, commented, “We are very pleased to see that, after more than two years of operation in Cherepovets, the cooperation based on mutual long-term trust between our two companies is now being reinforced. This new contract is symbolic of our development potential in this expanding area.”
The total global investments will amount to €50m. Within which a new Air Separation Unit, designed by Air Liquide, will be built and operated by Air Liquide Severstal; the 2005-founded joint venture of which Air Liquid holds 75% and Severstal 25%. The new unit is scheduled for start-up at the end of 2012 and will offer a daily capacity of 2,000 tonnes of gaseous oxygen. In addition, the facility will produce nitrogen, argon and rare gases – bringing the total daily capacity to 5,000 tonnes.
Anatoly Kruchinin, a member of the JSC Severstal Administration Board and Managing Director of the Cherepovets steelwork company Severstal, said, “We continue our partnership within the frame of current activities of joint venture ALS. After a successful experience of the first project, we are confident that Air Liquide is a responsible and reliable partner with whom we have efficient collaboration. The new project will allow us to implement sequentially converter steel production development program. ALS applies the latest technologies for gas production, paying close attention to the environment and industrial safety. That makes this project even more significant”.

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