Air Products plans new Chile industrial gases plant

Air Products will build a new plant in Antofagasta, Chile, as well as expand the capacity of its Graneros plant, south of Santiago, the company announced on Tuesday.

The work will be completed through the company's South American joint venture INDURA.

These new investments will meet the increasing demand for industrial gases in the northern and central regions of Chile, driven largely by the mining, metal fabrication and food industries, according to the company.

"With this new plant in Antofagasta and expansion in Graneros, we are investing in the right places to serve the industries that continue to grow and depend on the safe and reliable supply of our products for their processes," said Mike Olivares, vice president and general manager of Latin America for Air Products.

Antofagasta's new plant will produce oxygen, nitrogen and argon. Its construction and the Graneros expansion will mean an investment of more than $15 million, the company said.

The new capacity follows the opening of a new plant in Puerto Varas, Chile, in 2012, to support local industries, including the growing aquaculture market.

INDURA posted annual sales in 2012 of $478 million. Its integrated gas and retail business includes liquid bulk, small on-sites and packaged gases.

In July 2012, Air Products purchased a majority stake in the business, complementing its existing interests in Latin America, through its wholly-owned businesses in Brazil and Argentina and its joint venture, Grupo Infra, headquartered in Mexico.

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