Air Liquide, a company that offers medical and industrial gases, was recently chosen by Yuhuang Chemical, Inc. (a China-based petrochemical company) to supply oxygen at the latter’s new methanol manufacturing complex coming up in Louisiana. As part of this new deal, Air Liquide will invest about US$ 170 million in leveraging the opportunities that exist in this segment within the chemical industry.
The methanol manufacturing facility by Yuhuang Chemical will reportedly produce about 5,000 tons per day of methanol. This puts Yuhuang Chemical in the league of the largest methanol producing facilities in the United States in capacity terms. The long-term agreement will see Air Liquide supplying about 2,400 tons of oxygen to Yuhuang Chemical per day. To facilitate this massive daily requirement, Air Liquide said in a recent statement that it would now construct a new Air Separation Unit (ASU) for producing gases such as oxygen, argon and nitrogen. The ASU will be connected to the intricate pipeline system that Air Liquide owns in Louisiana. This, the company said, will help ensure reliability of supply. Work on this project is expected to begin shortly and is projected to reach completion by the latter half of 2017.
Besides this project, Air Liquide also said that has signed another contract under which it will license its proprietary process technology – MegaMethanol® – to Yuhuang Chemical. This particular process technology is capable of converting natural gas into methanol.
In a statement released by the company recently, it said that by undertaking this long-term project for the supply of oxygen and process technology to Yuhuang Chemical, the company demonstrates its trusted reputation and position in large-scale methanol production.
Yuhuang Chemical’s CEO, Charlie Yao, said their new agreement with Air Liquide, will go a long in helping the company realize its first global-scale methanol production facility in the United States. This also contributes significantly to Yuhuang Chemical’s ambition of emerging as a truly global company in the petrochemical industry.