Airgas to build new US air separation plant
Airgas is planning to construct a new air separation unit (ASU) to the meet increasing demand for merchant gases in the Chicago area, US.
Michael Molinini, Airgas president and chief executive officer, said the market for atmospheric gases is very strong in the Midwest, and that the company fully expects it to continue.
"Because of increased demand, now is the right time to add to our production capabilities in order to meet the merchant gas needs of customers in the Midwest," Molinini added.
Airgas, as a supplier of industrial, specialty and medical gases, currently supplies the bulk gas of oxygen, nitrogen and argon through its 16 air separation units in the US.
The proposed ASU, which is expected to begin production in the fall of 2014, will produce more than 400tpd of oxygen, nitrogen and argon.
Tom Thoman, Airgas Gases division president, said the company will operate the new plant within its Airgas Merchant Gases business unit.
"Airgas Merchant Gases has an excellent track record managing our network of air separation plants, our procurement and supplier relationships, and the logistics and distribution of atmospheric gases," Thoman added.
Airgas has also launched a new ASU in Clarksville, Tennessee, which began production of atmospheric gases in May 2012.
In addition to being a gas-supplier, Airgas will also supply welding equipment and related products, safety products and tools for construction, maintenance and repair.