Posted January 2, 2019

Airgas to build two new ASUs

Airgas plans to build two new air separation units (ASUs) to increase bulk gas production in the Midwest and Northeast.

The two new ASUs, along with previously announced production facilities under construction in North Carolina (on-stream late 2019) and Southern California (on-stream early 2019), will ensure access to a supply of atmospheric gases, further enable supply chain efficiencies, bolster network reliability and provide capacity for continued growth, the company said.

The new ASU near Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 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. Permitting is ongoing and construction will begin in 2019 with operations expected to be on-stream in 2020.

In Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, a new ASU will 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 will build this ASU on a former industrial site to be redeveloped under Pennsylvania's Land Recycling Program (ACT 2). Construction is under way 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, chief executive officer of Airgas, Inc. and Air Liquide executive committee member.