Air Product’s plant expansion has been completed enabling the company to double its capacity to produce nitrogen trifluoride, a gas used to make flat-panel television screens.
The company can now make 2000 metric tons the gas a year, which is almost twice the capacity of the next-largest producer.
The colourless gas is used to clean out the chambers in which flat panels are assembled. Nitrogen trifluoride is faster, cheaper and cleaner than other substances once used for the task.
Air Products says it makes about half of the world's supply of nitrogen trifluoride, also called NF3. The Hometown plant, which makes 30 to 40 products, is the only place Air Products makes NF3.
According to the Morning Call online news the production of the gas is automated, which means Air Products did not need to hire many new staff as part of the expansion. About 300 people now work at the Hometown plant.
The company has not revealed the cost of upgrading the plant.