As in many regions of the world, Brazil's economic and industrial growth is increasingly dependent on its domestic energy supply. Energy independence and its increased efficiency are key to creating economic growth and stability. Technological innovation in the field of gas-to-chemicals is critical to providing customers with state-of-the-art technologies and solutions. Air Liquide, through its division Global E&C Solutions, is one of the major players in this growing market, developing innovative technologies for the production of syngas, carbon monoxide, methanol and ammonia.
Air Liquide is further expanding its footprint in Brazil, establishing a new licensing agreement with Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) in conjunction with its recently awarded contract to Foster Wheeler for Complexo GásQuímico UFN-IV, a world-scale grassroots gas-to-chemicals complex in Linhares in south-east Brazil.
Air Liquide is the licensor for the integrated unit, the complex's largest and most integral unit, which will produce syngas, methanol, ammonia, power and steam. Air Liquide will also furnish fully integrated basic engineering design (BED) and engineering services during the execution of the front-end engineering design (FEED) as well as technical assistance during the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) phase through start-up of the complex. The BED/FEED phase is scheduled for completion at the end of 2013.
The complex is expected to produce in excess of one million tons per year of ammonia and urea fertilisers, methanol, acetic acid, plus formic acid and melamine, helping to reduce Brazil's import of these products.
François Venet, vice-president Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions, declared: "Air Liquide Global E&C Solution's strong historical relationships with Foster Wheeler and Petrobras are major factors supporting our growing collaboration. A true understanding of our customers' needs and requirements lies at the heart of our strategy of offering customer-focused cutting-edge technology solutions. We are proud to have been chosen as the major licensor for this project, which recognises our commitment to this region and proven track record of developing and delivering high-value projects for our customers."
Air Liquide has been present in Brazil for more than 65 years and continues to expand its investments in the region. Among its investments there, Air Liquide Brazil recently announced contracts with major regional firms Coca-Cola bottler FEMSA and Suzano Papel e Celulose, investing nearly $90m (£59m) to develop the two projects.