East Coast Oxygen, a 50/50 production joint venture between Linde North America and Air Products, has expanded the production capacity of its facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and improved its service capability as a result.

The new liquefaction unit, which was recently commissioned, boosts production capacity by almost 600 tonnes per day and makes the plant one of the largest liquefied nitrogen, oxygen and argon gases production sites in the US.

Gases produced at the Bethlehem plant are trucked to merchant customers throughout the northeastern US for use in applications such as food chilling and freezing, chemical production and metals manufacturing.

“This location already provided us with easy access to customers throughout the region. This expansion gives us a cost effective means of improving our ability to supply a growing customer base and to strengthen our East Coast supply network, which runs from Maine to Georgia,” said Pat Murphy, President of Linde North America.

Tom Ward, Air Products’ Vice President, North America Gases, agreed, “This expansion is consistent with Air Products efforts to leverage its existing North America asset base in order to meet the growing needs of its diverse customer base in the region.”

Meanwhile, Air Products & Chemicals Inc. has bought Goar, Allison & Associates Inc (GAA), which makes products to recover sulphur for the energy sector, for an undisclosed amount.

The two companies have worked together for more than 20 years and have shared a patent for sulphur processing, Air Products notes. Buyout talks apparently began when principal shareholders of GAA said they planned to retire and approached Air Products about a deal. The three key individuals plan to stay with the company through the end of 2009, a press release indicated.

“The GAA business is complementary to Air Products’ significant business relationships with the refining and gas processing industries,” said Doug Lubbers, an Air Products employee who will serve as GAA’s General Manager.