Air Liquide announces the signature of its largest long term contract in China with Shagang, a steel producer which has decided to outsource its increasing industrial gases needs. Under the terms of this agreement, Air Liquide will invest about €90m to install two large air separation units (ASU) of 2000 tonnes per day of gaseous oxygen each, to supply oxygen, nitrogen and argon to steel mills in Zhanjiagang, Jiangsu Province.

The units, which will start in Q2 2009, will also supply other local industrial customers with gaseous or liquid products. The units, designed and manufactured by Air Liquide Hangzhou, the Air Liquide engineering centre in China, will use the latest technologies providing both high reliability and high-energy efficiency.

Mr. Shen WenRong, Chairman of Shagang, explains, $quot;After fruitful discussion we have decided to entrust Air Liquide with our industrial gases needs. It is a major change for us, being used to producing industrial gases ourselves. Air Liquide has understood our needs and shown competitiveness. We are happy to enter into a long term partnership with Air Liquide and benefit from its worldwide capabilities.$quot;