Air Liquide confirmed on Friday its intention to withdraw from Russia. The company says, “taking a responsible and orderly approach,” it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the local management team with the objective of transferring its activities in Russia in the framework of a management buyout (MBO).
The plans are subject to Russian regulatory approvals. “In parallel, as a consequence of the evolution of the geopolitical context, the activities of the group in Russia will no longer be consolidated starting 1 September 2022,” Air Liquide says.
Air Liquide says it employs about 720 people in Russia and that its sales in the country represent less than 1% of group revenue. The company posted group sales of €23.3 billion ($23.3 billion) in 2021.
Divesting via an MBO aims to ensure notably the continuity of oxygen supply to hospitals in Russia, the company says.
Air Liquide announced earlier that it would include an exceptional provision in its accounts in the first half of 2022 of €404 million on the company’s assets in Russia, which it says has no impact on cash.
by Ian Young
France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).
The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.
At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?