News Release

Commissioning of new industrial gas plant in Fukui Prefecture will stabilize Hokuriku region supplies

Apr 18, 2006

Uno Sanso & Air Water joint venture Mikuni Ekisan starts business operations

Osaka, April 18, 2006 – Air Water Inc. (AWI, Osaka) today announced that a new VSU liquid oxygen/nitrogen co-production plant built at Mikuni Ekisan Co., Ltd’s facility in Mikuni-cho, Fukui Prefecture has recently been commissioned. Uno Sanso Co., Ltd. (Echizen City, Fukui) and AWI in March 2005 established Mikuni Ekisan Co., Ltd. (Echizen City, Fukui) for the purpose of further stabilizing supplies of industrial and medical gases in the Hokuriku region.

The start of production at Mikuni Ekisan will enable AWI to meet regional demand in the Hokuriku region more flexibly as well as bringing greater stability and safety to the company’s supplies in that region. For Uno Sanso, the leading supplier of industrial gases in Fukui Prefecture, the replacement of its old plant with the new Air Water VSU plant will bring improved energy efficiencies that will realize significant reductions both in operating costs and in environment loading. The new plant will also allow AWI to reduce its long-distance gas deliveries from Niigata and the Kinki area, thereby allowing reductions in costs and improved logistic efficiencies as well as resulting in further reductions in environmental loading.

The new VSU plant commissioned at Mikuni Ekisan was developed employing proprietary AWI technology and joins other VSU plants in operation in Agano City, Niigata Prefecture and Uto City in Kumamoto Prefecture. Based on the twin turbine, CFC-free low environmental load, high efficiency, low cost and small installation footprint design of Air Water’s first VSU plant operating in Niigata, the new plant incorporates advances that further minimize energy losses, reduce power consumption and raise gas production efficiencies.

Mikuni Ekisan VSU plant

Capacity:  2,000 Nm³/h
Liquid oxygen:  600 Nm³/h
Liquid nitrogen:  1400 Nm³/h
Site:  Mikuni-cho, Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture
Commissioned:  April 18, 2006

Mikuni Ekisan Co., Ltd. profile

Corporate name:  Mikuni Ekisan Co., Ltd.
Head office:  3-12-20 Fuchu, Echizen City, Fukui Prefecture
Capitalization:   50,000,000 yen
Date established:  March 2005
Share holders:  Uno Sanso Co., Ltd. (60%), Air Water Inc. (40%)

CONTACT: S. Kishi and J. Ishino
Public Relations, Air Water Inc.
20-16, Higashi Shinsaibashi 1-chome,
Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0083
TEL: 06-6252-5411 / FAX: 06-6252-3965

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