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Further investment in China: Air Liquide signs long-term contract with leading copper producer Shandong Fangyuan

  • China
  • Investment

Air Liquide announces a new long-term contract with Shandong Fangyuan, China' s leading privately-owned copper smelter and one of the world's largest copper producers. Under the terms of the contract, Air Liquide will invest around €60 million in a state-of-the-art ASU (Air Separation Unit) with a capacity of 2,000 tonnes of oxygen per day, expected to be commissioned by the second half of 2017.

The new ASU, located in Dongying, Shandong province, will be built by Air Liquide's Engineering and Construction teams, using state-of-the-art technologies that offer energy efficiencies as well as optimal reliability and safety. It will support Shandong Fangyuan's ongoing large-scale expansion plan to increase smelting capacity at the Dongying site from 400,000 tonnes to 700,000 tonnes per year by 2017.

The oxygen supplied will boost productivity of the smelter while reducing overall CO2 emissions and cutting maintenance costs. Air Liquide will also provide support for an optimized usage of Shandong Fangyuan's oxygen injection technology. Oxygen injection is a strategic technology for the non ferrous industry in which Air Liquide has over 20-years of proprietary research and several industrial references.

François Venet, Vice-President, Asia Pacific and a member of Air Liquide group's Executive Committee, commented, "We are proud to have been chosen by Shandong Fangyuan for this project. Through this partnership, Air Liquide and Shandong Fangyuan will implement the best available oxygen technologies in a long term development model which combines cost efficiency and contribution to lowering environmental impact. This investment also marks another positive step in Air Liquide's development in China.”

Mr Cui, Chairman of Shandong Fangyuan, added, "At Shandong Fangyuan, we use our proprietary integrated multi-metal process for extracting copper, gold, and silver worldwide. Thanks to Air Liquide's expertise in industrial gases, we can now fully leverage our oxygen injection technology and elevate Shandong Fangyuan to a cutting-edge, world-scale smelter.”

The official contract signature took place today in Toulouse (France) within the French-Chinese economic Summit, in the presence of the French and Chinese Prime Ministers.