Airgas Inc. has celebrated the grand opening of its new air separation unit (ASU) in Minooka, Illinois, enhancing the company’s supply chain and ensuring long-term reliability for its merchant gas customers in the region.

The ASU has the capability to produce more than 500 tonnes per day of both oxygen (O2) and ultra-high purity (O2), nitrogen (N2) and argon (Ar), vastly increasing the company’s production capabilities throughout Chicago.

The company first announced its plans to build a new ASU in the US state in September 2012.

Pascal Vinet, CEO of Airgas, commented on the significance of the new facility, stating, “We are able to increase our capacity to serve our customers throughout the Midwest, while also investing in the long-term growth opportunities of this important region.”

“Airgas is very proud to be joining the community of Minooka, and we look forward to successful partnerships with the residents, businesses and civic associations of the region for many years to come,” he added.

Density

Following Air Liquide’s $13.4bn acquisition of Airgas in May this year, Airgas has become the leading supplier of industrial, specialty and medical gases in the US, providing bulk gas supplies of O2, N2 and Ar through its nationwide network of 29 ASUs.

According to gasworld Business Intelligence, the Great Lakes is home to the third largest industrial gas market out of the eight US regions, featuring a high density of production facilities. In 2015, Airgas held the second largest share in the area of 20%, but this should increase in 2016 following the acquisition, in spite of relevant divestments.

Airgas minooka illinios asu ribbon cutting

Source: Airgas

Pictured left to right are: Pascal Vinet, CEO of Airgas, Inc.; Nancy Norton Ammer, CEO of the Grundy County Economic Development Council; Tom Stringer, President – Bulk & Onsite Ops for Airgas, Inc.; Tom Thoman, SVP – Merchant Gases for Airgas, Inc.; Sue Rezin, Illinois State Senator; Michael Graff, Chairman and CEO of American Air Liquide Holdings; Patrick Brennan, Village of Minooka President; and David Welter, Illinois State Representative, as they cut the ribbon at the opening of the new Airgas Air Separation Unit in Minooka, Illinois on Tuesday morning.