Air Liquide Large Industries US (Air Liquide) has hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Air Separation Unit (ASU) that will produce oxygen, nitrogen and argon at its production facility in Port Neches, Texas.

The new state-of-the-art ASU will produce 2,400 tonnes per day of oxygen and 2,600 tonnes per day of nitrogen, enabling Air Liquide to triple its production capacity of oxygen and double the production capacity of nitrogen of its Port Neches facility.

Additional capacity from the new ASU will feed into Air Liquide’s extensive Gulf Coast Pipeline System, which spans approximately 2,000 miles in Texas and Louisiana and supplies mainly oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen to customers in the chemicals, petrochemicals, refining and steel industries. The additional capacity will support increasing demand from large industry customers throughout the region and ensure greater reliability.

The new ASU is expected to begin commercial production by the end of 2015. To support the expansion Air Liquide will increase its workforce in Port Neches, hiring additional operators and technicians. Air Liquide commissioned the first production units at this facility – an ASU producing oxygen and nitrogen and a cogeneration unit producing electricity and steam – in 1994.

John Buckley, CEO, Air Liquide USA commented, “This expansion affirms Air Liquide’s investment commitment relative to our operations in Port Neches and throughout the Gulf Coast. We appreciate the continued support of our valued customers, local leaders and neighbours in the community as we continue to support business growth in the region and serve customers with excellence - providing high-quality products in a safe and reliable manner.”