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May 24, 2013

Air Liquide awarded a major coal-gasification contract in China

Gerald Ondrey

Air Liquide (Paris, France; has signed a long-term contract with Fujian Shenyuan New Materials Co. (Fujian Shenyuan) to supply industrial gases for its caprolactam production project located in Lianjiang Kemen Economic & Development Zone, Fujian Province, South-East of China.

Under the terms of the contract, Air Liquide will invest in an industrial gases complex of eight units including an air separation unit (ASU) of 2,000 metric tons (m.t.) of oxygen per day, a gasification unit, a purification unit of synthesis gas (Rectisol) and an ammonia plant to supply hydrogen, nitrogen and ammonia. Six plants out of the eight of the complex are based on Air Liquide’s proprietary technologies. They will contribute to purify synthesis gas and avoid sulfur emissions, which are notably responsible for acid rain. In addition, Air Liquide possesses strong operations and engineering integration capabilities in China as well as expertise in coal gasification in terms of energy efficiency, enabling the group to operate a full supply chain from coal and oxygen to pure hydrogen.

These plants, to be commissioned beginning of 2016, will produce 75,000 Nm3/h of hydrogen and 250,000 m.t./yr of ammonia. Pure oxygen is used to transform coal in synthetic gas, to produce hydrogen. Hydrogen and ammonia are necessary for the production of caprolactam, an intermediate for nylon in the textiles industry.

Fujian Shenyuan is a private company. The Group that owns Fujian Shenyuan also owns two other downstream companies, to which Fujian Shenyuan will supply 100% of its caprolactam production. These two companies together have a 12% market share of the nylon textile filament market in China.


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