How Industrial Gas Distribution Has Changed in 25 Years – Norco, inc. Big decisions, big projects


Norco, Inc. operates over 66 branches in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming and has been in business over 65 years as a gas distributor.

In 2002, Norco built its first Air Separation Unit (ASU) in Nampa, Idaho, in order to meet growing demand near its home base in Boise. The project was such a success, and Norco’s business continued to grow at such a rate that in 2009, they added a second ASU to their operations in Moses Lake, Washington, further marking a rare shift for a distributor into gas production. Norco has kept growing its business through acquisitions since, and Ned Pontius, President, took some time out to describe the ways Norco has changed in the years since the first ASU construction.

CryoGas International: What led to Norco’s decision to build an ASU in 2002? How has being your own gas producer affected the way Norco does business?

Ned Pontious, President, Norco, Inc.: Norco made a large push to develop gas sales around the year 2000. Due to the geography, and the reality that it was 350 miles each way to the closest competitive air separation plant, it was decided that we would look at building our own plant in Boise, Idaho. We did that in 2002 and had great success in loading that plant. As we continued to add loading, we saw a need to expand our production with a larger plant in the Northwest. In 2009, we added a second air plant to meet our current needs and provide additional volume for growth.

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