Air Liquide

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This article is about the multinational industrial gas company. For the electronic band, see Air Liquide (band).
Air Liquide S.A.
Société Anonyme
Traded as EuronextAI
Industry Chemicals
Founded 1902; 114 years ago (1902)
Headquarters Quai d'Orsay, 7th arrondissement, Paris, France
Key people
Benoît Potier (Chairman and CEO)
Products Industrial gases, fine chemicals
Revenue €14.457 billion (2011)[1]
€2.409 billion (2011)[1]
Profit €1.535 billion (2011)[1]
Total assets €24.123 billion (end 2011)[1]
Total equity €9.995 billion (end 2011)[1]
Number of employees
43,600 (average, 2010)[1]

Air Liquide S.A., or Air Liquide (French pronunciation: ​[ɛʁ likid]; /ˌɛər lˈkd/; literally "Liquid Air"), is a French multinational company which supplies industrial gases and services to various industries including medical, chemical and electronic manufacturers. Founded in 1902, it is the world's second largest supplier (after The Linde Group) of industrial gases by revenues and has operations in over 80 countries.[2] It is headquartered in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France.[3] Air Liquide owned the patent for Aqua-Lung until it time-expired.

Although Air Liquide's headquarters are located in Paris, France, it also has a major site in Japan (ALL), as well as in Houston, TX, and Newark, DE, USA. There is an emphasis on research and development (R&D) throughout the Air Liquide company. R&D targets the creation of not only industrial gases, but also gases that are used in products such as healthcare items, electronic chips, foods and chemicals. The major R&D groups within Air Liquide focus on analysis, bioresources (foods and chemicals), combustion, membranes, modeling, and the production of Hydrogen (H2) gas.

The company is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.[4] As of 2009, the company is ranked 484 in the Fortune Global 500.[5]


  • 1902: Georges Claude and Paul Delorme develop a process for liquefying air to separate the components. First drops of liquid air and creation of the company of the same name. Paul Delorme is the first president.
  • 1906: Launch of international expansion, first in Belgium and Italy, then also in Canada, Japan and Hong Kong.
  • 1913: Air Liquide joins the Paris Bourse.
  • 1938: Acquisition of La oxígena S.A. in Argentina
  • 1943: Engineer Émile Gagnan (employee at Air Liquide) and lieutenant de vaisseau (ship-of-the-Line Lieutenant) Jacques-Yves Cousteau, order to Air Liquide the construction, at its factory in Boulogne-Billancourt, of two scuba sets prototypes that Cousteau and Frédéric Dumas used to shoot the underwater film Épaves (Shipwrecks), directed by Cousteau the same year.[6] They were the first modern diving regulators.
  • 1945: After the war, Jean Delorme, second president of the Group seeks to restore roads, renovate, develop the tool industry.
  • 1946: Air Liquide founds La Spirotechnique, its own division destined to conceive and commercialize regulators and other diving equipment. The same year La Spirotechnique launches the CG45, the first modern regulator to be commercialized. The year 1946 represents thus the beginning of the popularisation of scuba diving.
  • 1957: Launch of great activity and industry networking pipes irrigating several major industrial areas in the world.
  • 1962: Launch of space adventure
  • 1986: Deployment in the USA with the acquisition of Big Three[clarification needed] and implementation[clarification needed] in many countries, particularly in Europe and Asia. Acquisition of SEPPIC, the French specialty chemicals company, as part of its Healthcare World Business Line.
  • 1995: Creation of Air Liquide Health: structure, teams, a gas supply medical equipment and services, fully dedicated to the medical sector, first at the hospital, then to patients' homes.
  • 1996: Acquisition of Schuelke and Mayr in Germany.
  • 2001: Acquisition of Messer Griesheim in South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Egypt, Argentina and Brazil.
  • 2003: Creation of a joint venture with The BOC Group in Japan: Japan Air Gases, strengthening the group's presence in the Far East market.
  • 2004: Acquisition of Messer Griesheim in Germany, UK and the USA.
  • 2007: Acquisition of Linde Gas UK.
  • 2007: Acquisition of the German engineering company Lurgi, which doubles the capacity of the engineering group.
  • 2007: Acquisition of Scott Specialty Gases, LLC. in the USA, UK and Netherlands.
  • 2008: The investment company Eurazeo, which owns 5.6% since 2006 group, announces to divest its stake.

From 2005 to 2008, Air Liquide increased its hydrogen production by more than 50 percent.[clarification needed][7]

In early 2008, Air Liquide entered a long term[clarification needed] contract with Neste Oil’s Renewable Diesel Plant to supply hydrogen.[clarification needed] Air Liquide is building a unit on Jurong Island to provide the means for the deal. They plan to turn the unit into an integrated Hydrogen Pipeline Network that will provide services to regional companies.[8]

In November 2015, Air Liquide announced it would acquire American firm Airgas for a total of $13.4 billion including debt.[9]


Aqua Lung/La Spirotechnique[edit]

See Aqua Lung/La Spirotechnique.

A well-known French firm which makes scuba gear, scuba sets and other breathing apparati. It started making the so-called Aqua-Lung regulators, like the CG45 (1945) and the Mistral (1955), among others.

Lurgi GmbH[edit]

A German engineering, construction and chemical process licensing company. The head office is located in Frankfurt am Main. Lurgi GmbH has been part of Air Liquide S. A. since 2007. Lurgi was the cable address of Metallurgische Gesellschaft founded on 5 February 1897. Its origin dates back to the technical branch of Metallgesellschaft, which had been established by Wilhelm Merton in 1881.

By the end of World War I, the company had gained a foothold in the steam and absorption business and gathered expertise in the upgrading of solid fuels and the processing of the resulting gaseous and liquid products. As a consequence of this diversification, the company divided into process-specific subsidiaries, which from 1919 traded under the name of LURGI. In 1923, they jointly moved to into offices at Gervinusstrasse, Frankfurt am Main. In order to meet the requirements of the international markets, Lurgi constituted itself as a German stock corporation in 1990. Its operating limited liability companies - chemistry, metallurgy and industry construction; energy and environmental techniques; gas- and mineral oil technics – each had their own engineering and commercial staff. In 1991, Lurgi pooled its polymer activities by taking over Zimmer AG from the British Davy-McKee AG as the fourth operating company. In 2001 Lurgi sold their metallurgical division (Lurgi Metallurgie) to Outokumpu.

Lurgi today focuses on three primary technology portfolios:

  • Refinery Technology consisting of conventional refinery technologies.
  • Alternative Technology based upon turning natural gas, coal, biomass to synthetic fuels through gasification, fischer-tropsch and proprietary methanol to synthetic fuels
  • Renewable Technologies include biodiesel as well as bioethanol process.


The Air Liquide group helps companies in a number of industries through industrial gas and energy solutions services.[clarification needed] As a result, a number of companies have improved their ability to handle their environmental responsibilities.[8]

Financial data[edit]

Financial data in millions of euro
Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Sales 8 328 7 900 8 399 9 400 10 435 10 949
EBITDA 1 833 1 960 1 975 2 084 2 415 2 567
Net Results 460 703 725 778 933 1 002
Net Debt 2 584 2 022 1 730 3 790 3 740 3 447
Research 146 150 146 150 162 173
Employees 30 800 30 800 31 900 35 900 35 900 36 900
Source :'OpesC'


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Annual Report 2010" (PDF). Air Liquide. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "[1]." Air Liquide. Retrieved on 31 January 2011.
  3. ^ "Legal notice." Air Liquide. Retrieved on 7 July 2010.
  4. ^ Frankfurt Stock Exchange
  5. ^ ""Air Liquide in Fortune Global 500 2009", July 20, 2009. Accessed August 18, 2010.
  6. ^ Those two scuba sets made by Air Liquide are mentioned in the opening credits of the film as scaphandre autonome "air liquide" système Cousteau ("air liquide's scuba set, Cousteau system").
  7. ^ "Air Liquide signs letter of intent with ConocoPhillips to construct new hydrogen unit in the San Francisco Bay Area", January 30, 2006. Accessed May 16, 2008.
  8. ^ a b ""Air Liquide: SOXAL Develops Key Hydrogen Business in Singapore", January 15, 2008. Accessed May 16, 2008.
  9. ^ "France's Air Liquide to buy U.S. peer Airgas in $13.4 billion deal". Reuters. 17 November 2015. 

External links[edit]