Cryogenic solutions are used throughout the entire clean fuels value chain – from production to distribution – and are pivotal to the use of storage tanks and transportation infrastructure for fuels like liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquid hydrogen. Acme Cryogenics is a leading supplier of products and services in these emerging markets. From its headquarters in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and its manufacturing operations across America, the company provides engineering, design, fabrication, installation, and repair services in industrial gas markets.
As the use of LNG and hydrogen as a transportation and energy source have increased, Acme has stayed ahead of the curve by continuing to make positive contributions toward improving the products and systems used in these markets. The company’s extensive expertise in engineering and fabricating VJP (vacuum jacketed piping) systems, a critical technology for LNG and liquid hydrogen facilities, puts them in a leadership position. Acme Cryogenics President and CEO David Fritz explains more about the company’s products and plans for its clean fuels business.
What makes Acme Cryogenics’ VJP systems stand out from the rest?
David Fritz (DF): Acme Cryogenics has over 30 years’ experience as the technical leader in the design, engineering, fabrication, and installation of VJP systems, which serve as critical technologies for LNG facilities. Our expertise and craftsmanship on the manufacturing side, combined with our understanding of the end application in which the piping will be used, provides great value to our customers. With the Acme Cryogenics Field Services Team also providing the option to install our VJP, we provide a total turnkey solution to our customers as well as ongoing service support after the sale.
How did Acme get into the LNG business?
DF: We are constantly looking for applications in our customer’s supply chains where we think we can add value. Mid-size LNG production facilities and associated distribution systems are a market area that aligns very well with our manufacturing capabilities. The LNG business requires our VJ pipe expertise to get product from production to storage and then to the end use point, which is typically tanker trucks or barges.
Is North America’s use of LNG as an alternate fuel to diesel and other refined petroleum fuel products increasing?
DF: Absolutely! We have seen solid activity in this market segment and our Cryogenic Sales Engineers are developing business relationships with the key players involved in LNG projects. LNG for transportation, as well as off-grid power generation and NG peak shaving, are also active markets that match up very well with Acme Cryogenics VJP as well as our Process Vaporizers.
What is the status of that market today and what applications – heavy trucking, marine, locomotive, mining, oilfield services, and other industrial – are growing?
DF: We would characterize the market status as ‘full speed ahead’. The use of LNG in all the applications you note is either rapidly developing or already developed and growing.
Do you anticipate the shipping of LNG by rail to have an impact on your business?
DF: We believe there is potential for LNG rail shipments to increase in a similar fashion to our other markets and have a positive impact on our business.
Can you discuss any LNG projects you have supported here or abroad in the last year?
DF: Acme Cryogenics has provided VJP for the first two phases of development of JAX LNG in Jacksonville, Florida. JAX LNG is North America’s first small-scale coastal LNG facility with both on-road and marine-loading capabilities. A joint venture between Pivotal LNG, a BHE GT&S company, and NorthStar Midstream, JAX LNG completed construction of Phase I of its operation in 2018 and its Phase II expansion is currently underway. According to the company, this will double the LNG storage capacity and triple liquefaction at the facility located at Dames Point near Jacksonville.
In addition to JAX LNG, we are providing the VJP LNG product transfer systems for several power generation projects in southern Florida and the Caribbean regions.
Acme Cryogenics’ product line includes: mobile high-pressure supply equipment, manifold systems for hydrogen fuel cell technology, and complete fueling stations. Can you tell us about your involvement in other clean fuel applications and where they fit in to your clean fuels business?
DF: Acme Cryogenics is supporting the rapid build out of the global hydrogen economy through our mission-critical
cryogenic solutions. As an essential provider of cryogenic technology, equipment, and services to both liquid hydrogen producers and end-users of the molecule, we are enabling the adoption of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy source for material handling, transportation, robotics, aerospace, and many other dynamic industries.
Our products play a critical role in the liquid hydrogen supply chain beginning at the production facilities where we provide both products and services. VJP, cryogenic product filters and Acme Cryogenics bellows-seal cryogenic valves, which enable the transfer of liquid from production units to storage tanks are all part of our broad product offering. We also have transfer and vacuum jacketed hoses for the process side of liquid hydrogen trailer-tanker off-loading capability.
What about your hydrogen tank repair service?
DF: Acme Cryogenics has always had hydrogen tank repair as a service offering. Business has been steady and we anticipate it will increase as we continue to see the rollout of hydrogen use in the broader economy.
Do you see clean fuels as a growing part of your company?
DF: We believe clean fuels, along with the broad number of other growth markets in which we participate, will continue to fuel our growth as a company. We are uniquely positioned with our broad range of product offerings, to thrive and grow right along with our customers.
What are the most important things you would like our readers to know about Acme Cryogenics’ clean fuels business?
DF: Acme Cryogenics’ success is rooted in the company’s extremely solid customer base, its drive toward innovation, and its long-term relationships with the community. Our premier brand and reputation for safety and reliability, comprehensive solutions offering, expansive end-market applications expertise, and national reach, position the company to continue to support the positive growth trajectory for all cryogenics clean fuels development. The future of Acme Cryogenics is bright and we look forward to continuing to identify opportunities.