American Airgas today announced that it will invest $7.5 million to build an 850 ton per day (tpd) expansion of its Star, Mississippi (MS), liquid carbon dioxide plant, boosting production there to 2,000 tpd.

The Star facility is one of eight liquid carbon dioxide plants operated by Airgas Carbonic, the largest producer of liquid carbon dioxide in the Southeast America and the third largest nationwide.

The expansion also will increase storage capacity at the plant and increase railcar service from the plant.

'Star is an important production source since it draws from the Jackson Dome natural wells, the largest single source of merchant carbon dioxide east of the Mississippi,' said Phil Filer, president of Airgas Carbonic and Airgas Dry Ice.

Filer continued: 'This will be the fourth expansion at the Star, MS production plant, which opened in 1986.

Salof Refrigeration of San Antonio, TX will build the Airgas facility, with an expected completion date of August 2006.