A busy period of activity has seen Praxair Inc. expand its presence in both Belgium and Southern Russia, with both developments also coming hot on the heels of the company’s acquisition of Dominion Gases.

The company is to build its second air separation plant and extend its pipeline system in the Port of Antwerp (Belgium), the second largest petrochemical enclave in the world after Houston, TX. The new 1,300 tonnes per day plant will increase Praxair’s oxygen and nitrogen capacity in the port and expand its business with customers under long-term contracts, including agreements with several leading global companies.

Start-up of the air separation plant is expected in early 2016, with the new plant and pipeline system having the ability to supply oxygen and nitrogen to the majority of chemical companies in the port.

Further east, in Russia, Praxair has acquired Volgograd Oxygen Factory (VOF), a leading producer and distributor of industrial gases in southern Russia. The acquisition significantly strengthens the company’s merchant liquid and packaged gas business in the region, and is the latest in a series of investments in Russia that expands Praxair’s production and distribution capacity.

VOF is an established leader in the Volgograd region, serving more than 2,000 customers in a variety of industries including steel, aerospace, healthcare and food and beverage. Praxair has invested in four other major projects in Russia, with a combined production capacity greater than 3,500 tons per day of gaseous and liquid oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and argon. In addition, the company acquired Volzhsky Azot in 2012, which included two air separation units and a bulk and packaged gas business located in the Volgograd region.

“The acquisition of VOF is consistent with our business strategy to continue to build production and distribution density in southern Russia,” said Todd Skare, president of Praxair Europe.

“We expect to derive immediate synergies with Praxair’s newly built air separation plant in Volgograd, as well as the integration of VOF into our existing regional infrastructure. Further, we expect to drive new profitable growth from VOF’s large packaged gas presence in the region.”