Air Liquide's Long-Term Presence Bolsters Regional Hub Status

As world leader in gases, technologies and services for industry and health, Air Liquide has grown from strength to strength in Malaysia.

Air Liquide entered the country in 1927. Its early business focused on supporting the local industry by providing a wide range of industrial and medical gasses, as well as engineering services.

Today, its footprint in Malaysia and Greater Kuala Lumpur (Greater KL) has grown significantly.

In 2017, the company made strides in digital transformation with the opening of its Smart Innovative Operations Centre (SIO) and APAC Global Services.

The French multinational further solidified its presence in Malaysia by opening a new head office at 1Powerhouse in Bandar Utama in February last year.

Currently, the company has more than 1,000 employees in 20 locations nationwide. The 450-strong team at the head office serves as the nerve centre that supports customers across 14 countries in the Asia Pacific.

Operating in more than 70 countries with over 67,000 employees, Air Liquide serves more than 3.9 million customers worldwide.

As a key provider of essential industrial gases, the company plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and efficiency of diverse sectors, including petrochemical and healthcare.

Malaysia's talent base, marked by its highly skilled workforce at the forefront of technological advancement, is one of the key factors that enable global players such as Air Liquide to establish their foothold in the region.

"Our decision to expand and grow in Malaysia was largely influenced by the highly skilled talent pipeline, robust digital infrastructure and support rendered by the government.

"These factors have made it possible for our teams to develop, collaborate and co-create, making Air Liquide one of the best places to work in Malaysia," said Air Liquide Business Services Malaysia managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Patrick Franchinard.

"Air Liquide's significant growth in Greater KL not only signifies its confidence in our dynamic ecosystem but also translates to immense spillover effect for the broader economy. The company's investment not only creates highly skilled job opportunities for Malaysians but also drives innovation and technological advancement, further strengthening Malaysia's position as a hub for innovative and high-tech investment in the region," said InvestKL CEO Datuk Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli.

As a Malaysia Digital Status company, Air Liquide actively collaborates with the government to drive digital transformation and sustainability, and contribute to the growth of Malaysia's Industry 4.0.

The company promotes low-carbon solutions such as clean hydrogen (H2) production, H2 mobility and carbon capture utilisation and sequestration (CCUS) in Malaysia through various strategic collaborations with companies in Greater KL.

Air Liquide plays a role in sustainability by taking proactive steps to reduce its environmental footprint.

This includes procuring renewable energy (RE) through the Green Tariff Programme by Tenaga Nasional Bhd to power its operations. The company also forged a partnership with TotalEnergies to supply RE to its plant in Senai, Johor.

Additionally, Air Liquide lends CCUS expertise to Petroliam Nasional Bhd, facilitating the recycling of carbon emissions from oil and gas platforms for alternative applications.

These initiatives align with Air Liquide's "ADVANCE Strategy to Decarbonise the Planet" and underscore its part in driving environmental responsibility in Malaysia.

On the social front, Air Liquide is deeply committed to making a positive impact on the community.

The company takes part in various initiatives aimed at giving back to society.

This reflects Air Liquide's dedication to social responsibility and its continued effort to contribute to the wellbeing of the communities it operates in.

"We actively participate with the local community through a variety of corporate social responsibility programmes, including partnerships with organisations, community development programmes and environmental projects," said Franchinard.

"In Malaysia, Air Liquide has made a significant contribution to the community. Air Liquide employs close to 1,000 people, contributing to the local economy."

In 2017, Air Liquide signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with InvestKL in a multifaceted collaboration.

This strategic partnership encompassed the development of a talent pipeline, fostering technical and technological cooperation with Malaysian startups and integrating Air Liquide deeper into the academic ecosystem.

Air Liquide offers internship and career opportunities through collaborative efforts with universities, such as campus career hiring, onsite industrial visits and specialised boot camps.

For example, career and insight talks presented by the company's management and leadership team were held recently for Sunway University students.

This commitment underscores Air Liquide's confidence in Malaysia's talent landscape — one that can be nurtured and upskilled to meet business needs.

"Greater KL provides the ideal environment for our growth and development. The APAC Global Services was established in Malaysia due to several competitive advantages including the availability of a competitive workforce combined with a highly educated population.

"We can find the expertise we need from skilled professionals in in Greater KL, whether in business, engineering or digital technology.

"The country's positive economic trajectory and rising markets align seamlessly with our long-term vision and strategy. We are committed to further expanding our presence in Malaysia and Greater KL," added Franchinard.

Source: News Straits Times

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