Praxair to boost gases supply, extend pipelines at Antwerp chemical enclave

Praxair will build its second air separation plant and extend its pipeline system in the Port of Antwerp, the second-largest petrochemical enclave in the world, the company said on Thursday.

The new 1,300 tpd plant will increase Praxair’s oxygen and nitrogen capacity in the port and expand its business with customers under long-term contracts, including agreements with several leading global companies. The new air separation plant is expected to start up in early 2016. 

“The increase of installed capacity, as well as an expansion of Praxair’s pipeline network in the Port of Antwerp, gives us the reach and production to supply the increasing oxygen and nitrogen demand of customers throughout the port,” said Todd Skare, president of Praxair Europe.

“Integrated ports such as Antwerp have remained competitive, in spite of the extended recessionary period in Europe, and we fully expect the port to continue to grow and attract significant new investment in the future," he added.

Praxair’s new plant and extensive pipeline system will have the ability to supply oxygen and nitrogen to the majority of chemical companies in the port. The new facility is also designed to produce liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon to support customers in the pharmaceutical, chemical, glass, cement, metal fabrication and food industries in Belgium and the Netherlands.

According to the Antwerp Port Authority, some of the world’s leading refining, petrochemical and chemical companies have announced more than €1 billion of investments into the port. The Port Authority also projects an additional €1 billion of investments to be made in the near future.

“The Antwerp Port Authority is very pleased with Praxair’s new investment on the right bank of the river Scheldt,” said Eddy Bruyninckx, CEO of the Antwerp Port Authority. “We have always appreciated Praxair’s 45 year-plus presence in our port.

"This new investment further strengthens the Port of Antwerp’s position as the largest chemical and petrochemical cluster in Europe and will enhance the competitiveness of the industrial companies here," he said.

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