Airgas on Thursday announced plans to build a new air
separation unit (ASU) in the Chicago area, citing increasing
demand for merchant gases in the region.
The ASU, which will produce oxygen, nitrogen, and argon, is
expected to begin production in the fall of 2014.
The market for atmospheric gases is very strong in the
Midwest and we fully expect it to continue, said Michael
Molinini, Airgas CEO.
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.
As the largest US supplier of industrial, specialty, and
medical gases, Airgas currently provides bulk gas supply of
oxygen, nitrogen, and argon through its 16 air separation units
nationwide, the company says.
The proposed Airgas plant in the Chicago area will produce
more than 400 tpd of oxygen, nitrogen, and argon.
We will operate the new plant within our Airgas
Merchant Gases business unit, which has the proven expertise to
run the production plant, said Tom Thoman, gases division
president for Airgas.
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.
The business unit recently commissioned Airgas newest
ASU in Clarksville, Tennessee, which began producing
atmospheric gases in May of this year.