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Pierre-Marie Valton

COLOMBIA - Energy & Mining

Pierre-Marie Valton

Managing Director, Air Liquide Colombia


Pierre-Marie Valton has almost 10 years of experience at Air Liquide and has assumed roles of increasing responsibility throughout his career, holding positions in France and Latin America. He joined Air Liquide in 2012 at the Paris-Saclay R&D center, working on various topics related to supply chain optimization, data science, and later coordinating R&D for big data initiatives for the large industries business line. He then served as a project manager at GM&T WBL. In addition, he was director of operations control in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he supported operations control, investment control, and strategic planning. Since September 2021, he has been serving as Managing Director of Air Liquide in Colombia.

"Our commitment to reducing emissions by 2025 and achieving a 35% reduction by 2035 is unwavering."
A French multinational company that supplies industrial gases and services to various industries, Air Liquide is committed to reducing its carbon footprint.
Can you elaborate more on the history and background of Air Liquide in Colombia and how the company has evolved over the years?

Air Liquide operates in over 80 countries, with a long-standing presence in Latin America that started in 1938, making us the oldest player in the region. We have a significant presence in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Colombia. In 2010, we initiated a strategic screening of crucial industries, including oil and gas, to identify opportunities for expansion, and in 2017, we successfully identified a suitable entry point into the oil and gas market through two projects. First, we invested EUR50 million in a cutting-edge concept called multi-gen that focuses on co-generation and CO2 capture. This project enables us to deliver seven products, including energy, steam, CO2, liquid nitrogen, chill water, and others, to our major customer, Femme Cinco Cacola. Femme Cinco Cacola, known for its investment in one of the most advanced and automated plants in Latin America, located in northern Bogotá, operates on the same site as us, allowing us to provide seamless supply chain solutions to support their production needs. Additionally, we leverage our CO2 production capabilities to cater to the market demand for CO2 used in various applications such as beverages, soft drinks, pH control, water treatments, and other industrial projects. Furthermore, we expanded our presence in Colombia by acquiring OxyMaster, a reputable local company with almost 25 years of experience in the market, specializing in chronic disease management.

How have your projects contributed to the country’s economic growth and development?

With a team of 300 dedicated individuals, we are proud to contribute to Colombia’s industrial network. Home healthcare has emerged as a significant development in the country’s health system, providing coverage to over 97% of the population, and we are privileged to be a part of it. Our commitment to serving the healthcare sector was evident during the pandemic, when we imported over 40 isotainers of oxygen to address the country’s shortage. While we did not face the same challenges as Brazil and Tunisia, it was a wake-up call for us to consolidate our oxygen capacities in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. We take immense pride in being a part of the health system and delivering critical services during such challenging times. We are also actively involved in the development of the hydrogen ecosystem in Colombia, as a founding member and board member of the Hydrogen Association Colombia. The country has immense potential for renewable energy, much like Chile with its La Guarera project, which harnesses the abundant sun and wind resources in the desert region to generate competitive renewable energy. In the short term, we foresee hydrogen energy taking off in certain industries, such as fertilizers, to reduce the country’s dependence on imports from Russia and Ukraine, which are facing their own challenges. As an active participant in congresses and associations, we are committed to driving the development of a robust ecosystem in Colombia, leveraging our expertise and resources to contribute to the country’s sustainable energy future.

Do you continue to see opportunities in the Colombian market in the coming years?

In 2017, we made a strategic investment, and we are currently in the process of building, integrating, and consolidating our operations. While there may be another wave of projects, we are actively seeking suitable opportunities, such as hydrogen, which is a relatively new field and requires further refinement. In terms of our home healthcare activity, we are experiencing organic growth due to the prevalent need for oxygen therapy and sleep apnea treatment.

How does Air Liquide plan to lower its carbon footprint?

Our commitment to reducing emissions by 2025 and achieving a 35% reduction by 2035 is unwavering. To achieve this, we are exploring green energy as a primary energy source due to our high energy consumption levels. In fact, in France, we are the second-highest emitter, with emissions surpassing 1,000 units globally. A significant portion of these emissions comes from electricity, which is why we are actively investing in power purchase agreements (PPAs) for renewable energy. Recently, we signed a PPA for over 300MW, furthering our efforts in CO2 capture for direct emissions. We are also engaged in projects in the North Sea and Gulf Coast in the US, where we are aggregating CO2 emissions, not only for ourselves but also for our customers. One notable initiative is the first-of-its-kind carbon capture project in the North Sea. Additionally, our third pillar focuses on improving efficiencies in our processes. Over the past 15 years, we have been making continuous progress in reducing energy consumption through various measures. This forms an integral part of our plan to achieve our emission reduction targets.



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