Airgas has announced plans to build two new air separation units (ASUs) to increase bulk gas production in the Midwest and Northeast. The ASUs will complement Airgas’ strategic independent supply network throughout the US.

The new additions, along with previously announced facilities under construction in North Carolina and Southern California, will provide access to a vital supply of atmospheric gas.

“With the construction of these two new ASUs, Airgas will deliver on our Air Liquide integration strategy to grow our independent production of bulk gases, to gain efficiencies in our dynamic supply chain, and to deliver product supply reliability to our customers,” said Pascal Vinet, Chief Executive Office of Airgas, Inc. and Air Liquide Executive Committee Member.

The new ASU near Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota will enhance the company’s gas production to serve growing needs in the Midwest, and ensure long-term reliability of supply, enabling ongoing efficiencies. Permitting for the facility is ongoing, the construction of the facility will begin in 2019 with operations expected to be on-stream in 2020. 

The Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania ASU plant will increase Airgas’ production capabilities throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, supporting major bulk gas markets including Philadelphia and New York City.

The ASU will be built on a former industrial site to be redeveloped under Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Programme (ACT 2). Construction is under way for the facility, the ASU is slated to be on-steam in early 2020.

Each ASU will produce oxygen, nitrogen and argon for use in customer applications such as food chilling and freezing, metal fabrication, blanketing and purging, and combustion enhancement.

The ASUs will also produce medical grade oxygen to supply to hospitals, nursing homes, and research laboratories, as well as food and pharmaceutical grade nitrogen.