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Industrial gases and technology provider Air Liquide has inaugurated a new engineering and construction manufacturing centre in the Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone, UAE
The centre has been built to propose innovation in the market, and address expanding markets in the Middle East by delivering cryogenic plant equipment such as columns and cold boxes. It is designed to produce equipment for very large air separation units and modules.
A 33,000 sqm workshop would be built in the centre and equipped with the latest technological solutions such as lean manufacturing, advanced automation of the manufacturing tasks, continuous and linear fabrication, as well as top-notch IT tools to track production. The manufacturing process flow would be planned in a straight line 400m long and 30m wide. 29 overhead cranes and 62 permanent skilled staff would be deployed at the centre.
The company aims to produce oxygen from air, for which is requires air separators and columns. Air Liquide procured the certification to produce and export columns in September 2014. Officials revealed that they plan ship the first set of columns to Qatar in four months.
About handing over responsibilities to the locals, François Darchis, senior vice-president for research and development, new business at Air Liquide, said, “Air liquide has always been national – Russian in Russia, Chinese in China and it will be the same here, and we always need local people to speak in the language of the customers.”
According to Darchis, Ras Al Khaimah is a cost-effective manufacturing centre. The emirate’s proximity to the sea would allow the company to load goods on to barges, he added.