Engineering News

Air Products to Build New World-Scale Air Separation Unit in Texas
Thursday October 29, 2009, 11:18 am EDT

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Air Products today announced plans to build a new world-scale air separation unit (ASU) at its La Porte, Texas industrial gases facility. The energy efficient ASU will replace older assets at the site and provide benefits to customers through higher-reliability pipeline oxygen and nitrogen supply, and enhanced production of merchant and electronics products including argon and xenon. The new ASU is to be on-stream in October 2011.

"This world-scale ASU at La Porte will serve customers across Air Products' three major business areas of Tonnage Gases, Merchant Gases and Electronics and increase supply security and reliability. It will deliver significant productivity gains through decreased energy consumption and operating costs and supports the company's sustainability goals," said Stephen Jones, senior vice president and general manager-Tonnage Gases, Equipment and Energy at Air Products.

The new La Porte ASU will ensure the long-term operational viability and customer supply security of one of Air Products' key liquid argon sources for the North American market. Argon is used primarily for welding, electronics, steel and metals processing applications. The plant also will expand Air Products' xenon production capacity and improve customer supply security and reliability. Xenon continues to grow as a key material used in the etching steps of semiconductor manufacturing, and the additional volume will support growth in the emerging technologies of plasma display and other lighting applications which depend on xenon's special properties.

The La Porte ASU is part of Air Products' extensive Gulf Coast network of industrial gas facilities, pipelines and distribution assets. In addition to its oxygen, nitrogen and argon businesses, Air Products has the leading hydrogen position in the region comprised of numerous production facilities and over 450 miles of pipelines reaching from the Houston Ship Channel in Texas to Lake Charles, Louisiana, and from the city of Plaquemine, Louisiana to Chalmette, east of New Orleans.

Air Products serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. In fiscal 2009, Air Products had revenues of $8.3 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and 18,900 employees around the globe.

Source: Air Products

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