New investment in China (Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province)
With a growth rate of +12%pa over the last four years, Zhejiang Province is one of the most developed and fast growing provinces in Eastern China. Together with Jiangsu Province and Shanghai, it forms the Greater Shanghai Area. Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province and also its most important industrial center. It is a transportation hub with highways linked to Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, South Zhejiang and the Ningbo area. Key industries include electronics, precision machinery, medical/bio tech, food and beverages and textile chemical fiber, all markets requiring gases fundamental to, or for the improvement of, manufacturing processes.
Following the establishment in Hangzhou of Air Liquide (Zhejiang) Co. Ltd in December 2004, a 100% Air Liquide subsidiary, Air Liquide will invest more than 20 million euros to build a new Air Separation Unit (ASU) in the Hangzhou Economical Development Area (HEDA). HEDA is a state level development area and is recognized as one of the top industrial parks in China. Air Liquide will supply liquid nitrogen, oxygen, and argon, with a total capacity of 430 tons per day, to customers in Hangzhou, as well as in the Zhejiang Province and the Greater Shanghai area. The ASU will also supply large users by pipeline. This unit will be designed and manufactured by Air Liquide Hangzhou, the Air Liquide engineering center in China.
Air Liquide has been developing the Greater Shanghai market for more than 15 years. It already has ASUs in Wuxi and Shanghai and will shortly commission another in Zhanjiagang to supply Zhanjiagang Posco Stainless Steel (ZPSS) by pipeline and also the local market.
Commenting on this new investment, Jean-Pierre Duprieu, Senior Vice-President, Asia-Pacific and member of the Executive Committee of Air Liquide, said, "With growth rates of +40% each year, Air Liquide is experiencing expansion in China in all its business lines. This investment in a large ASU will further strengthen Air Liquide’s presence and market position in the promising Hangzhou zone. It represents a major move into a new and rapidly growing area.”
Hangzhou Mayor Sun ZhongHuan added, "The Municipality of Hangzhou is happy to welcome the world leader in industrial and medical gases in our fast developing area. Total foreign investment in Hangzhou represents today about 15 billion euros and keeps expanding.”