Air Liquide has just signed another major long-term contract in the steel industry in China. It will invest about €40 million in Yichun, Heilongjiang Province (northeastern China), 350 kilometres north of Harbin, Heilongjiang's capital city, to supply Xilin Steel Group, a new customer, with oxygen, nitrogen and argon. A 1,200 tonnes per day Air Separation Unit will be designed and built by Air Liquide Hangzhou, the Engineering teams of Air Liquide in China, and will be commissioned in Q1 2012.
Over forty years, Xilin Steel has become the largest iron and steel producer - and the biggest private enterprise - in Heilongjiang province. It has grown while rationalizing and modernizing its production facility, so as to become the most profitable iron and steel enterprise in the whole of north-eastern China.
Heilongjiang is a leading industrial region of China, with abundant natural resources. In recent years, Heilongjiang has witnessed stable and fast growth in its economic development, with GDP growing at double-digit rates for eight consecutive years. The Province and the municipality of Yichun initiated in 2009 the “Eight Economic Districts” and “Ten Key Projects” to boost economic and social development.
Miao Qingyuan, Chairman of Xilin Steel Group, said: “We are happy that Air Liquide has decided to invest and support our growth. We will learn also from its management practices and worldwide expertise. This investment will benefit both Yichun and the Province.”
Jean-Marc de Royere, Senior Vice-President Asia-Pacific, a member of the Air Liquide's Executive Committee, said: “We thank Xilin Steel Group for having chosen Air Liquide as their partner. We also thank the Heilongjiang and Yichun authorities for their great support in facilitating our project. This new success in China illustrates Air Liquide's ability to meet the expectations of Chinese customers in terms of reliability, low-energy consumption, short construction delays and safety. Emerging economies are a growth driver of Air Liquide.”
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