In Germany, economic recovery is progressing quite positively in many industrial sectors. Industrial gases play a major role in numerous production processes. To meet the increasing customer demand over the long term, Air Liquide is investing around €90 million in its Large Industries business.

At Oberhausen (North Rhine-Westphalia), the largest Air Separation Unit (ASU) in Germany is currently being built (as announced on June 5, 2008). With a production capacity of 2,400 tonnes per day of oxygen, this plant will start up in 2011. The oxygen will be directly fed into the 500 kilometre pipeline network supplying the large customers in the iron and steel, chemical and petrochemical industries in the Rhine-Ruhr area, 24 hours a day year-round.

Furthermore, Air Liquide is proud to announce that it has been selected by Aurubis AG, the largest copper manufacturer in Europe, for its new long term needs of oxygen in Hamburg and Lünen (near Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia). In that perspective, Air Liquide will construct an additionnal Air Separation Unit in Hamburg with a capacity of more than 500 tonnes per day of gaseous oxygen and liquid products; this plant will be commissioned in 2011.

Guy Salzgeber, member of Air Liquide’s Executive Committee, Vice-President for North and Central Europe, said: “With these investments, we are very happy to see the materialization of our development efforts in Germany. The new contract with Aurubis marks a further step in the development of the Group’s activities in Northern Germany. These are positive signs of the recovery of the investment cycle in Western Europe which is very good news for our activities in these countries.”