Linde to build new air separation unit, gasification train near Houston

Linde North America will invest more than $200 million to build a large air separation unit (ASU), a new gasification train and supporting equipment and facilities in La Porte, Texas, the company said on Thursday.

The new plants are scheduled to come onstream in the first quarter of 2015.

The ASU will be the largest operated by Linde in the US, and the addition of a new gasification plant will create the world’s largest gas-based partial oxidation complex for the production of syngas products for petrochemicals.

“With the new plants, Linde will have a fully, integrated presence in the Houston area that covers air gases and synthesis gas products production and supply to our customers,” said Dr. Rainer Schlicher, head of Linde's tonnage global business unit.

The air gases (oxygen and nitrogen) produced by the new ASU will supply the gasification assets at the La Porte site. The new gasifier will convert natural gas into syngas and constituent products such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide which are used to produce methanol, downstream chemicals and cleaner transportation fuels.

The syngas products will be served by pipeline to a key customer, which the company did not identify. 

Linde also owns and operates three additional large, partial oxidation facilities that manufacture syngas products using Linde’s syngas processing technologies and know-how.

“Linde is the leading syngas supplier in this region," said Pat Murphy, president of Linde North America. "This latest venture, coupled with our unique portfolio of industrial gas and hydrocarbons technology, engineering and operations capabilities, will allow Linde to better serve the petrochemicals industry that is being driven to new heights by the shale gas revolution.”

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