Absolute Air, LCC has announced plans to build a merchant Air Separation Plant (ASP) on a contracted site in the Minneapolis metropolitan area to serve the upper Midwest area.

The ASP will produce oxygen, nitrogen and argon for use in customer applications such as metal fabrication, blanketing, purging, combustion, chilling and freezing.

“We expect the facility to be on-stream in 2020,” said Ned Pontious, President of Absolute Air who retired from Norco in February and is still a Director on the Norco Board.

Absolute Air, LLC is a partnership of five owned independent gas and welding supply distributors, as well as the Independent Welding Distributors Cooperative (IWDC) who have made the investment ”to assure an ongoing and more economical supply of oxygen, nitrogen and argon against the backdrop of continuing consolidation of international industrial gas producers.”

The five distributors involved in the project are: Mississippi Welders Supply, Toll Company, Minneapolis Oxygen, A-OX Welding Supply and Huber Supply. 

All of the distributors are located in the upper Midwest area to be served by the plant, and together represent 30 business locations with over 50,000 customers in a seven-state region. The IWDC cooperative has 140 member companies.