Qatar Petroleum (QP) and South Africa’s Sasol have awarded a $70m contract to a subsidiary of France’s Air Liquide for the construction of an oxygen and nitrogen production unit at their Oryx gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant.

Oryx GTL is a 51:49 joint venture between QP and Sasol and has capacity to produce 34,000 barrels a day of liquid fuels.

The facility produces clean diesel, naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from its base in Ras Laffan.

Air Liquide says the contract, awarded to its Gasal subsidiary in Qatar, covers an oxygen and nitrogen production unit with capacity of 750 tonnes of oxygen a year.

Gasal was established in 2006 as a joint venture between Air Liquide, QP and Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company.

The new unit will be designed and built by Air Liquide Engineering and commissioned by the end of 2010.