Air Products South Africa has recently commissioned a new air separation unit (ASU) at the Impala Platinum refinery, in Springs, as a means of ensuring the supply of oxygen and nitrogen to the plant.

The R90m ASU facility supplies 80 tonnes of high-purity oxygen and 50 tonnes of high-purity nitrogen daily to Impala\\$quot;s base-metals refinery (BMR) operations.

Air Products has designed, supplied, constructed and commissioned the facility, which it will own and operate to supply the needs of Impala on an \\$quot;˜over-the-fence\\$quot; basis.

The company was awarded the 15-year contract in November 2004 and completed commissioning according to schedule on 1 July, this year, following an 11-month construction period.

Air Products South Africa MD Allan Cooper said that the company has supplied hydrogen to the Impala refinery since March 2004, following Air Products\\$quot; commissioning of a 110-km gas pipeline from Sasol, in Sasolburg, where it is transformed into high-purity hydrogen.