01 Dec, 2011

Gide Loyrette Nouel advises Air Liquide on major gas joint venture with Sinopec


Gide Loyrette Nouel (GLN) has advised Air Liquide, the world leader in gases for industry, health and the environment, on the establishment of a joint venture with Sinopec (China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation) (Sinopec), one of Asia’s largest petroleum and petrochemical groups.


The joint venture has been established to facilitate the supply of gaseous oxygen and nitrogen by Air Liquide to Sinopec’s branch in Maoming, Guangdong province, China (MPCC). The gas supply will be used for MPCC’s 200,000 Nm³/h coal-to-hydrogen project and the expansion of its existing refinery in Maoming.


Air Liquide and Sinopec have entered into a 50/50 joint venture which will build, own and operate a new air separation unit (ASU), as well as MPCC’s existing ASUs.  The new ASU, built using Air Liquide’s latest technology, will have a capacity of 3,000 tonnes of oxygen per day. Expected to be commenced in 2013, this will be the largest ASU to be built in China and will also be able to produce liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon.


The global investment of this joint venture will be approximately EUR 85 million.


This transaction follows another major joint venture between Air Liquide and Sinopec in 2007 in Tianjin, China, in respect of which GLN also advised Air Liquide. This earlier joint venture, established with Sinopec’s Tianjin Petroleum Chemical Corporation (TPCC), was set up to supply oxygen and nitrogen to TPCC’s planned 1 million-ton per year ethylene cracker and downstream units.


Gide Loyrette Nouel advised Air Liquide on all aspects of this new gas joint venture with Sinopec, including structuring, negotiations and incorporation of the joint venture. The GLN team was led by partners Antoine de la Gatinais (Shanghai) and David Boitout (Paris), with assistance from associates Tu Fengyan and Cheng Xiaoxi in Shanghai.


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