The group wishes to announce the signing of two new contracts that demonstrate its eagerness to strengthen its presence in the major industrial basins of Eastern Europe - a region considered to have a high potential for development.
In Slovakia, Air Liquide has signed a 15-year contract with Johns Manville Slovakia,a.s, part of the Johns Manville group US, for the overall supply of their local oxygen needs. These oxygen volumes are designed for their expanding fiber glass production on their Travna site, about 50 kilometers from the capital Bratislava. To follow the rising production requirements, Air Liquide will increase its oxygen production capacity by adding a new cryogenic air separation plant. In Bashkortostan, a republic in the Russian Federation situated in the Urals, Air Liquide is to install an air separation unit (ASU) with a capacity of 13,000 m3/h of nitrogen and 200m3/h of oxygen. The nitrogen will be supplied to a Russian oil company for use in rendering its installations inert; the oxygen will be pressurized and distributed in cylinders for the same site and used to serve the local processing industries. Start up is scheduled for August 2004.