To expand the stable supply and sales of rare gases xenon and krypton, Air Water is building a new facility to produce them in the cryogenic air separation unit (ASU) which has been operated in Kobe Steel’s Kakogawa Plant since October 2017, The Gas Review reported.

The new facility will be completed at the end of March and put into operation in April 2019.

Air Water at present procures krypton from domestic sources and imports neon, but produces xenon in its Kagoshima Plant while importing some just in case of shortage for supply.

Recently due to the globally uprising demand in the production process related to the electronics and space industries, the supply of rare gases has been so tight that the consequent hike of import price has turned out to be a problem.

The investment at this time is intended to get assuredly a stable production base of rare gases based on the current supply/demand situation.

The production capacity of xenon is 1,103,600 litres per year and the production capacity of krypton is 88,090 litres per year. The investment amount to about ¥0.5bn.