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Air Liquide inks long-term agreement with KMCI

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Air Liquide recently signed a new long-term contract with Kumho Mitsui Chemical Inc. (KMCI), a major chemical group in South Korea, under which it will increase its supply of both hydrogen and carbon monoxide at the Yeosu industrial complex.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Air Liquide will invest approximately €100 million to build a new, state-of-the-art hydrogen production unit.

The new steam methane reformer (SMR) will increase production capacity of both hydrogen and carbon monoxide by approximately 50%. The new unit, fully integrated with Air Liquide's existing hydrogen and carbon monoxide supply system, will support the expansion of KMCI's chemicals production at Yeosu.

Yeosu is the largest isocyanate production complex in South Korea and the nation’s second largest industrial park. Isocyanate is employed in the production of polyurethane foams, rubbers, elastomers and resins, which are used in many everyday applications in the sectors of construction, automobiles, home appliances, and other equipment.

Expected to start operations in 2020, the new SMR will be designed and built by Air Liquide’s Engineering and Construction teams using world-class technologies to offer energy efficiency as well as optimal safety and reliability. It enhances Air Liquide’s local production network and strengthens the Group’s leadership position in a key industrial area of South Korea.

François Abrial, member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee supervising Asia Pacific, said: “We are pleased to strengthen our long-term partnership with KMCI and to enhance our investment into the promising and dynamic Yeosu region. As this new contract illustrates, South Korea represents an attractive investment destination in Asia for Air Liquide due to its integrated industrial base and strong innovation capabilities. We look forward to continuing the sustainable expansion of our operations there, in step with the country’s overall economic development.”

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