Air Liquide to Invest €125 Million in Dutch Advanced Oxygen-Production Plant

12 August 2020

French company Air Liquide announces to invest in the first world-scale oxygen production location, fit to accommodate renewable energy in the grid.

Air Liquide announces an investment of 125 million euros to build the first world-scale Air Separation Unit (ASU). This new, highly efficient plant, with circa 10% less electricity use, will be built in Port of Moerdijk in Brabant, the Netherlands. Air Liquide is a world leader in gases, technologies and services for industry and health. The French company currently has presence in 80 countries. Air Liquide in the Netherlands was established in 1931 and is one of the many international companies located in Moerdijk.

The ASU is developed for oxygen production with an energy storage system. It helps facilitate more renewable energy on the electricity grid. This illustrates Air Liquide Group’s ability to design and implement innovative solutions contributing to the energy transition.

François Jackow, Executive Vice President of Air Liquide, on the expansion in the Netherlands: “Fighting climate change is central to the mission of Air Liquide and we are developing a wide range of solutions. This investment in a strategic industrial basin, with a first-of-its kind innovation, illustrates our capacity to modernize industry with solutions to support a renewable energy compatible grid. In line with our Climate Objectives, we are committed to lower carbon footprint on our own assets as well as customers’ and demonstrate our contribution to the emergence of a low carbon society.” The ASU is planned to be operational in 2022.

Wind & Solar power

The location of Air Liquide in the Netherlands enables the French company to decrease bulk truck deliveries by an estimated 400,000 driven km per year. This contributes to a lower environmental footprint and is in line with Air Liquide’s climate objectives. The new ASU is designed to be built with the proprietary solution Alive™. The innovation allows the system to storage of up to 40 MWh of energy. Which corresponds to daily consumption of 4,000 households, enabling flexibility of the energy intake from the grid. While keeping a constant production for customers, it can accommodate the intermittency of renewable energy. Thus, contributing to the growth of power coming from the wind and solar on the electricity grid.

The ASU will produce oxygen, nitrogen, and argon for industrial, food, and medical markets in Europe. Air Liquide uses the extensive pipeline network in the Netherlands. This way, customers get a safe, flexible, and reliable supply to meet their growing demand.

The Dutch chemical ecosystem

The Industrial Park of Moerdijk is excellently located. It is directly on the water and has growing number of short-sea lines. The connections by water, road and railway are outstanding as well. Moerdijk offers many business advantages to chemical and chemistry-related companies. The Industrial Park is fully equipped for chemical and chemistry-related activities. It hosts one of the biggest chemical crackers of Shell and offers home to companies as Solvay, LyondellBasell, KLK Kolb and many more.

The Netherlands has a strong chemical cluster with many R&D labs of key players and a vibrant ecosystem of innovative chemical startups and SMEs. Public-private partnerships, campuses and tax incentives stimulate R&D. These assets make the Netherlands not only for Air Liquide but for many chemical companies, a smart choice.

Source: Air Liquide