Air Products has celebrated the roll-out of the first completed LNG heat exchanger manufactured at its new production facility in Manatee County, Florida.
The company held a ceremony to mark the milestone, at the conclusion of which the heat exchanger was transported from the Air Products facility, crossing over Route 41 and directly onto the property of Port Manatee – where it will be loaded on a barge this weekend and shipped to a customer for a major LNG project along the US Gulf Coast.
Air Products has already shipped 116 LNG heat exchangers to 17 countries around the world, but this particular unit is the first produced at the company’s Port Manatee site and also its first shipment to a Gulf Coast location.
The Port Manatee facility is the second US location for Air Products’ LNG technology as part of responding to the needs of the LNG export industry in the US. The over 300,000 square foot facility doubles the company’s manufacturing capacity.
“I am proud to say that no one in the world builds coil wound heat exchangers as large as we do. The largest LNG plants in the world use our technology. We needed a second manufacturing location, which would eliminate any transportation limitations regarding product size,” said Sandy McLauchlin, General Manager – LNG & CryoMachinery Engineering & Manufacturing at Air Products.
“When we selected this site, we believed it provided us with everything we needed in an operational location. I can tell you we made a wise choice. This new facility will help us maintain our market leadership position.”
One of the key draws for Air Products to locate the facility in Port Manatee was its ease of access to a port berth for shipping the proprietary and large equipment; the first two units to be produced at the Port Manatee facility will travel by barge to locations on the US Gulf Coast for LNG export terminal projects.
Typically an LNG heat exchanger can be as large as over 15 feet in diameter and 180 feet long, or about two-thirds of the size of a football field. A finished unit can weigh as much as 500 tons, and McLauchlin added, “It remains to be seen how big we will build one here, but we are confident that at this new location, we can build an LNG heat exchanger to the size of whatever the market requires.”