Russia: Launch of the Air Liquide Severstal Production Unit


Air Liquide Severstal has just launched the largest gas production unit in Russia. A
joint venture created in 2005 between Air Liquide and the steel producer Severstal, Air
Liquide Severstal has been set up within the Cherepovets steel complex, in the
Vologda region, situated between Moscow and St Petersburg.

With a daily production capacity of 3,000 tonnes of oxygen, it is the biggest gas
unit in Russia and the largest air separation unit in the world dedicated to the steel
industry.
Its priority will be to supply the Severstal steel mill with high purity oxygen in addition to
nitrogen and argon and it will also provide liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon to the
Russian industrial market. Global investment amounts to 100 million.

Designed and assembled at Cherepovets by the Air Liquide Engineering Department
with qualified Russian subcontractors, this production unit will allow Severstal to increase
its production of very high quality steel, in particular for the car industry.

Equipped with Air Liquide technology allowing reduced energy consumption, this
production unit will contribute to the fight against global warming (which Russia
entered itself into by signing the Kyoto Protocol) by saving 50,000 tonnes of CO2,
emissions each year, that is, the equivalent of the total CO2 emissions of a town of
10,000 inhabitants. To illustrate its involvement in and contribution towards a sustainable
environment, on the day of the launch, Air Liquide Severstal symbolically planted
100 trees on the Cherepovets site.

"The start-up of this new air separation unit is a major stage in the development of
our large-scale investment program", emphasized Anatoly Kruchinin, a member of
the JSC Severstal Administration Board and Managing Director of the Cherepovets
steelwork company Severstal. "It will allow us to increase our production of steel on
this site to 9.5 million tonnes. We are very satisfied with our partnership with Air
Liquide for the construction of a new industrial production unit and we intend to
continue it within the framework of our joint venture Air Liquide Severstal".

At the launch of Air Liquide Severstal, Klaus Schmieder, Senior Executive Vice-President of the Group Air Liquide, declared "We are very happy and very proud of
our partnership with Severstal, one of the world leaders in steel production. The commissioning of the Air Liquide Severstal production unit allows us to firmly
anchor our position in Russia and to accompany an industrial sector that is in full
expansion into the future. In accordance with our development strategy in
expanding areas showing particular potential, we intend to increase our
investment in Russia in the years to come."

SeverStal is an international steel producer with a listing on the Russian Trading System and the
London Stock Exchange. Incorporated in 1993, the company focuses on high value-added and
unique niche products and has a successful track record of acquiring and integrating high-quality
assets in North America and Europe. SeverStal owns mining assets in Russia, thus securing its
supplies of raw materials. In 2006 SeverStal produced 17.6 million tonnes of steel and had revenues
of $12.4bn, PBT of $1.8bn and EPS of $1.27 dollars. In Q1 2007 Severstal had revenues of $3,6bn
with PBT of $616,1mln and EPS of $0,39 dollars. In July 2007 the company had a market
capitalization of $16.1bn. The majority of the company's stock (82.37%) belongs to Alexei
Mordashov, with the remaining 17.63% owned by institutional investors and employees. SeverStal's
supervisory board has 10 members, five of whom are independent non-executives including a
chairman. The company has recently put in place corporate governance systems which match
international standards.

With more than 38,000 employees in 72 countries, Air Liquide is a world leader in
industrial and medical gases and related services. The Group offers innovative solutions
based on constantly enhanced technologies and produces air gases (oxygen, nitrogen,
argon, rare gases...) and many other gases including hydrogen. The Group contributes
to the manufacturing of many everyday products: bubbles in sparkling beverages,
protective atmosphere for packed foods, oxygen for hospitals and homecare patients, ultrapure
gases for the semiconductor industry, hydrogen to desulfurize fuels...

Air Liquide is committed to sustainable development and helps to protect life. Founded in
1902, Air Liquide has successfully developed a long-term relationship with its shareholders
built on trust and transparency and guided by the principles of corporate governance.
Since the publication of its first consolidated financial statements in 1971, Air Liquide has
posted strong and steady earnings growth. Sales in 2006 totaled 10,949 million euros,
with sales outside France accounting for almost 80%. Air Liquide is listed on the Paris stock
exchange and is a component of the CAC 40 and Eurostoxx 50 indices (ISIN code
FR 0000120073).

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