China: Extended Contract to Dongbei Special Steel in Dalian

Air Liquide will invest in China another 25 million in a new Air Separation Unit (ASU) for Dongbei Special Steel Group in Dalian, Liaoning Province. The new ASU will have a production capacity of about 800 tonnes of oxygen per day, to supply oxygen and nitrogen to Dongbei Special Steel Group. It extends the cooperation between the two companies, after a first long-term gas supply contract was signed in 2007. The commissioning of the new unit is scheduled to the 3rd quarter of 2011.

Plant operation teams will be from Air Liquide China, while the ASU will be designed and manufactured by Air Liquide Hangzhou, Air Liquide's Engineering centre in China. The combination will give Dongbei Special Steel the best performance in terms of safety, reliability and energy efficiency.

Founded in 1905, the Dongbei Special Steel Group is now a leader in China for special steels, with a total capacity of 3.3 million tons. Mr. Zhao Mingyuan, President of Dongbei Special Steel Group, said: "Dongbei Special Steel is happy to expand its long-term partnership with Air Liquide, which enables us to benefit from its worldwide expertise and secure competitive industrial gases, which are high quality and reliable."

Jean-Marc de Royere, Senior Vice-President Asia-Pacific and a member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee, said: "We want to thank Dongbei Special Steel Group for its renewed trust. This contract attests to our long-term relationship and our ability to support them in their development. Emerging economies are a growth driver of Air Liquide."

Air Liquide is the world leader in gases for industry, health and the environment, and is present in over 75 countries with 42,300 employees. Oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and rare gases have been at the core of Air Liquide's activities since its creation in 1902. Using these molecules, Air Liquide continuously reinvents its business, anticipating the needs of current and future markets. The Group innovates to enable progress, to achieve dynamic growth and a consistent performance.

Innovative technologies that curb polluting emissions, lower industry's energy use, recover and reuse natural resources or develop the energies of tomorrow, such as hydrogen, biofuels or photovoltaic energy... Oxygen for hospitals, homecare, fighting nosocomial infections... Air Liquide combines many products and technologies to develop valuable applications and services not only for its customers but also for society.

A partner for the long term, Air Liquide relies on employee commitment, customer trust and shareholder support to pursue its vision of sustainable, competitive growth. The diversity of Air Liquide's teams, businesses, markets and geographic presence provides a solid and sustainable base for its development and strengthens its ability to push back its own limits, conquer new territories and build its future.

Air Liquide explores the best that air can offer to preserve life, staying true to its sustainable development approach. In 2009, the Group's revenues amounted to 12 billion, of which almost 80% were generated outside France. Air Liquide is listed on the Paris Euronext stock exchange (compartment A) and is a member of the CAC 40 and Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 indexes.

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