Air Products has opened a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) equipment test facility (ETF) and expanded its manufacturing plant at Port Manatee, Florida.

The Tier One company held a ribbon-cutting event for the new LNG facility as well as breaking ground on the LNG equipment manufacturing facility which will boost manufacturing capacity by more than 50% at Port Manatee.

The ETF will allow for the collection of data to develop designs for the next generation of Air Products’ coil wound heat exchangers.

With global demand for LNG increasing, Air Products believes the test facility and expansion of manufacturing will help keep it at the forefront of LNG technology.

“Air Products has a long and successful history of serving the needs of the LNG industry,” said Dr. Samir Serhan, Executive Vice President at Air Products.

“We intend to remain the leaders in this industry and the events of today are designed with that intention.

“We already have the best performing liquefaction technology, have passed every customer performance test, and our products exceed customer expectations on output and longevity on a regular basis.

“We continue to invest in this business to continue to develop our product line and the ETF will allow us to do more testing and to evaluate improved product designs for the benefit of our customers. It is another example of our intent to maintain our leadership and stay ahead of the trends in this market.”

Air Products, which has its headquarters in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has had the manufacturing facility near Port Manatee since 2014 and rolled out its first LNG heat exchanger from the facility in September 2016.

The Manatee Country location was chosen due to its immediate proximity to Port Manatee and easy access to the berth, as well as because it removed constraints on the size of LNG heat exchangers to be shipped.

As well as LNG heat exchangers, Port Manatee also builds other specialty cryogenic and gas processing equipment for a wide range of other industrial markets.

Air Products has manufactured LNG heat exchangers operated in 20 countries for over 50 years.

The huge LNG heat exchanger can be 15ft in diameter and 180ft long, with a finished unit weighing up to 500 tonnes.

“We are committed to always providing the best-in-class equipment and technology to the LNG industry and to never missing a delivery and exceeding all customer expectations in terms of performance and efficiency,” said Serhan.

“We want customers in the LNG market around the world to know that we are adding production capacity to this location right now so that we are prepared and not limited in our manufacturing capability when new LNG plant opportunities are announced and developed.”