Airgas, an Air Liquide company, says it plans to build two air separation units (ASUs) that increase bulk gas production in the Midwest and Northeast, and complement Airgas’ independent supply network throughout the United States.
The two new ASUs, along with previously announced production facilities under construction in North Carolina (expected on-stream late 2019) and Southern California (expected on-stream early 2019), are intended to ensure access to a vital supply of atmospheric gases, further enable supply chain efficiencies, bolster network reliability and provide capacity for continued growth, Airgas said.
“The new ASU near Minneapolis/St. Paul MN will enhance the company’s gas production to serve growing needs in the Midwest, ensuring long-term reliability of supply and enabling ongoing efficiencies in support of its merchant, packaged and on-site gas customers,” the company said.
“Permitting is ongoing and construction will begin in 2019 with operations expected to be on-stream in 2020.”
In Fairless Hills PA, the goal is to increase Airgas’ production capabilities throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, particularly to support major bulk gas markets, including Philadelphia and New York City.
Airgas said it will build this ASU on a former industrial site to be redeveloped under Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Program (ACT 2). Construction is underway, and the ASU is slated to be on-stream in early 2020.
Each ASU will produce oxygen, nitrogen and argon for use in customer applications such as food chilling and freezing, metal fabrication, blanketing and purging, and combustion enhancement. In addition, the ASUs will produce medical grade oxygen to supply to hospitals, nursing homes and research laboratories, as well as food- and pharmaceutical-grade nitrogen.
“With the construction of these two new ASUs, Airgas will deliver on our Air Liquide integration strategy to grow our independent production of bulk gases, to gain efficiencies in our dynamic supply chain and to deliver product supply reliability to our customers,” said Pascal Vinet, CEO of Airgas and Air Liquide executive committee member.