The 2017 air gases market report: Steady business


Announcements of domestic air separation unit and liquefaction builds and expansions for start-up through 2021 indicate that the US air gases business will be steady but not strong. This is still an improvement from earlier in the decade when economic recessions only allowed improvements to those capacities from de-bottlenecking and reaming out of nameplate capacities.

The slowly improving economic landscape has led to an increase in demand for oxygen, nitrogen, and argon across various sectors, especially in fabricated metals, automotive, and food; and stainless steel and electronics for argon. Adding to uncertainty is how the new US administration backs clean energy projects requiring new large air separation units (ASUs). Production of argon has always been dependent on large volume oxygen production at ASUs. 

We last reported on the US air gases market in 2016. In this report, we look at the future of the US air gases market, including trends and markets driving the increased demand for all three gases, necessitating an increase in total ASU and liquefaction capacity.

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