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News ReleaseNew Joint Venture One Step Closer to Delivering One of Middle East’s First Over-the-Fence Gas Supplies

January 21, 2008 Lehigh Valley, Pa.

Air Products is to ship a cold box, key equipment for an air separation unit (ASU), to reach the port of Abu Dhabi at the end of February 2008. This shipment is the main stage of a project by the joint venture between the Abdullah Hashim Group (AHG) and Air Products to build, operate and maintain a new ASU and a hydrogen production facility for Emirates Float Glass Company (EFG) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The new plant will be the first over-the-fence gas supply in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi, and one of the first in the Middle East.

The newly set-up UAE joint venture between Air Products and Abdullah Hashim Group combines Air Products’ technology and the regional know-how and experience of the Abdullah Hashim Group, and will deliver projects following Air Products’ globally recognized standards for operation and maintenance.

The cold box is the core element of an ASU and enables the air to be cooled so that it can be separated into different gases. The cold box and other cryogenic equipment are being manufactured at Air Products’ facility in Acrefair, North Wales, UK.

“We are very excited to bring this project one step closer,” explains Richard Boocock, vice president, Tonnage Gases, Equipment & Energy, Air Products Europe & Middle East. “We bring extensive worldwide experience in designing, constructing and operating ASUs, and will provide globally proven in-house nitrogen cryogenic distillation technology. Our partner, AHG, has unrivalled Middle East project management expertise and extensive liquid gases back-up capabilities in the gulf region.”

“Our joint venture enables us to offer the highest standards of nitrogen and hydrogen supply safety, reliability, product purity and power efficiency,” adds Khalid Hashim, managing director of AHG.

Air Products has operated a helium and cylinder gases filling and distribution facility in the Jebel Ali Free Zone in UAE since 1990, and strengthened its presence in the Middle East with the opening of its office in Doha, Qatar last year.

“With leading positions in the Middle East in key markets such as LNG, GTL and refineries, we are now looking at expanding our presence in new sectors – and this new contract illustrates that our core skills can be applied in many different industries,” said Boocock.

“We are proud to be part of a project of such strategic importance to both Emirates Float Glass Company and the United Arab Emirates’ industrial development. This project supports the growing high demand from the construction market in the UAE,” adds Hashim.

Under the long-term supply agreement, the ASU will supply nitrogen and hydrogen for the production of float glass* at EFG’s new state-of-the-art plant located in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi. The nitrogen and hydrogen facility is expected to be on-stream during the third quarter of 2008 and will include design features allowing for future gas production expansion required for EFG’s float glass Phase 2.

About Air Products

Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. Air Products has annual revenues of $10 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and 22,000 employees around the globe. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.  

About Abdullah Hashim Group

AHG is a company of Abudullah Hashim Group. The Abdullah Hashim Group is a privately-owned Saudi company which has been in business for more than half a century. Turnover exceeds USD 450MM, and it employs more than 1700 people. The group’s activities are in three main areas – the import and distribution of industrial and automotive vehicles and equipment, including the agency for Honda cars and motorcycles in Saudi Arabia; the distribution of welding equipment and related supplies; and the manufacture and distribution of a wide range of industrial and medical gases, from four production plants and seven distribution centres. Its industrial gases activities include the distribution of welding equipment and related supplies; and the manufacture and distribution of a wide range of industrial and medical gases, from four production plants and seven distribution centres. Abdullah Hashim Gases offer Project Engineering infrastructure including project design and installation, as well as extensive regional operation support and back-up liquid gases distribution. www.ahg.com.sa.  

About Emirates Float Glass Company

Emirates Float Glass Company is established to produce high-quality glass for the architectural, automotive and other markets. The company is located in Abu Dhabi in a beautiful picturesque location and is majority-owned by Dubai Investment PJSC. Its plant located in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi, will have a daily production capacity of 600 tons of glass. The investment initiative is supported by credible investors from GCC region to eventually emerge as the largest glass conglomerate in the MENA region in future.

*The float process produces a ribbon of nearly perfect glass by "floating" molten glass on a bath of liquid tin.

NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary materially, due to changes in current expectations.

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