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Comment Business & Economics

Air Liquide to invest in an ASU in China

By Gerald Ondrey |

China owns the world’s third largest coal reserves, and naturally looks into ways of valuing them in order to reduce its growing dependency on foreign energy sources and feedstock. Several technologies based on coal gasification allow the transformation of coal into liquid petroleum or chemical products. These gasification processes require huge quantities of oxygen. In this context, Air Liquide (Paris, France; www.airliquide.com) announces it has signed a long-term contract with Yutianhua, Shaanxi Yulin Natural Gas Chemical Industry. Under the terms of the agreement, Air Liquide will invest about €60 million in a new large Air Separation Unit (ASU) — with a production capacity of 2,700 metric tons (m.t.) of oxygen per day — to supply oxygen and nitrogen to Yutianhua. The ASU, designed and built by Air Liquide Hangzhou, the Air Liquide engineering center in China, will use Air Liquide’s latest technologies providing both high reliability and energy efficiency.   Yutianhua, a natural-gas-based methanol player in China, has a current production capacity of 510,000 m.t./yr. In 2008, Yutianhua launched an additional 600,000 m.t./yr methanol coal-based project with a total investment of 3 billion…
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