French gas firm Air Liquide and German chemicals firm BASF have signed a new long-term contract for the supply of oxygen and nitrogen to one of BASF’s largest and most innovative European sites, located in Schwarzheide, Germany. Air Liquide will invest around EUR40 million in the construction of a state-of-the-art Air Separation Unit (ASU) at this flagship site for the production of battery materials for mobility.
Air Liquide has been present since 1995 at the Schwarzheide site, where it already operates a nitrogen production facility. The Group’s new Air Separation Unit (ASU) is planned to be operational in 2023 and will also produce liquid products for the Industrial Merchant market. BASF’s new battery material plant will produce components for 400,000 electric vehicles annually, with a focus on creating sustainable products, through the integration of renewable energies, energy efficiency and circular economy.
This new ASU located in the eastern part of Germany will complement Air Liquide’s 23 air gases production plants in the country, and will enable the Group to increase the reliable supply of industrial gases to customers in Germany as well as in Poland. Having two production sources in eastern Germany and 6 in Poland will also allow for an optimization of the bulk truck routing in the region and for a reduction of the number of kilometres driven per ton of gas delivered, in line with the Group’s Climate Objectives.
François Jackow, Executive Vice President and a member of the Air Liquide group’s Executive Committee, said: “We are pleased to extend our long-term relationship with BASF to contribute to the development of their state of the art battery material production at their flagship site of Schwarzheide. Air Liquide accompanies leading customers through its technological know-how and innovative solutions. This investment will also provide momentum for our growing Industrial Merchant activity in Germany and Poland.”
Air Liquide employs more than 4,000 people and serves approximately 100,000 customers in Germany’s most important industrial regions. It supplies a number of industries, such as the aircraft, automotive, food and beverage, chemical, electronic, and energy sectors, as well as the healthcare industry, and is very active in the deployment of hydrogen energy projects.
A world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health, Air Liquide is present in 80 countries with approximately 67,000 employees and serves more than 3.7 million customers and patients. Oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen are essential small molecules for life, matter and energy. They embody Air Liquide’s scientific territory and have been at the core of the company’s activities since its creation in 1902.