A year after its acquisition by giant cryogenic equipment manufacturer Chart Industries, Inc., Allentown-based Cryo Technologies sat down with gasworld US to talk through what the deal means for both companies.
Cryo Technologies provides custom engineered process systems to separate, purify, refrigerate, liquefy and distribute high value industrial gases such as hydrogen, helium, argon and hydrocarbons with design capabilities for cold boxes for hydrogen and helium use. Chart is a leading provider of technology, equipment and services related to liquefied natural gas, hydrogen, biogas and CO2 Capture amongst other applications.
Richard Hessinger (President of Cryo Technologies, A Chart Industries Company), Andrew Lister (Director, CT Projects & Sales Engineering), Jennifer Driscoll (Director, CT Operations), and Kristin Edgerton (Director, CT Process Engineering & Design) give an insight here about what Cryo Technologies brings to Chart, which announced the deal for $55 million in cash in February 2021.
How has the move over to Chart been, what have been the major changes for the company and employees?
Cryo Technologies (CT): The move to Chart has been great to provide more depth with engineering and design resources combined with the stability of a larger company. Cryo Technologies can now leverage Chart Industries’ customers where established relationships already exist.
Why were the two companies such a good match? Did synergies already exist?
CT: Cryo Technologies has exclusively purchased Chart Brazed Aluminum Heat Exchangers for 27 years based on their high quality and excellent customer service. Cryo Technologies’ world class differentiated cryogenic engineering experience and global project experience in hydrogen and helium liquefaction coupled with Chart’s process technologies, brazed aluminum heat exchanger, Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) Storage Tanks and cold box manufacturing capabilities creates the only full-service liquefaction and equipment offering in the world. We have also been able to improve our manufacturing practices such as streamlining our leak testing procedures and other processes for greater efficiencies and quality improvements.
What does the acquisition mean for Cryo Technologies?
CT: The acquisition ensures that Cryo Technologies will always be busy designing and supplying equipment for liquid helium and hydrogen plants as Chart brings a global presence and significantly more customer potential for the combined Chart Industries organization.
What does Cryo Technologies bring to Chart?
CT: Our people possess extensive education, knowledge and experience in all engineering and design disciplines including process, mechanical, instrumentation and controls, safety, quality assurance and project management. Cryo Technologies has a well-established global reputation in the ultra-low temperature space of the industrial gas industry with a broad range of satisfied customers.
Can you tell us what sort of work is done at Cryo Technologies in Allentown, your custom engineered process systems, vacuum cold box engineering…
CT: Cryo Technologies brings custom engineered process systems to separate, purify, refrigerate, liquefy and distribute high value industrial gases such as helium, hydrogen, and hydrocarbons. Cryo Technologies is a total systems supplier that executes complete projects from project development through startup and post startup technical support.
Where is most of your work concentrated (hydrogen, helium, argon, nitrogen, LNG)? Any shift in trends, demand for your products?
CT: The bulk of Cryo Technologies’ history is dominated by helium liquefiers and purifiers. The addition of Hydrogen Liquefiers has become an equal percentage of our business in the past decade. We expect both product lines to grow in parallel going forward.
Has the recent increase in helium exploration in North America, and startup of new sources, led to new business for Cryo Technologies and can you explain how you fit in to the helium liquefaction process?
CT: Yes, the number of opportunities increases due to the market growth and diversification. When any new sources of helium gas are of sufficient quantity to support a commercially viable production level of liquid helium, Cryo Technologies can provide the solution. With production from smaller wells being considered, Cryo Technologies has extended its product capabilities to include front end purification with very low levels of helium in the feed gas.
What services and products can Cryo Technologies provide the growing hydrogen market?
CT: Cryo Technologies specializes in the design, fabrication and supply of the front-end purification system, liquefier vacuum cold box, and related systems to liquefy, store and distribute liquid hydrogen. Cryo Technologies plays an integral role supporting the customer during the project development process and all the way through commissioning and start up.
How does Cryo Technologies complement Chart’s offerings in the hydrogen space?
CT: Cryo Technologies’ cryogenic engineering and global project experience in hydrogen and helium liquefaction coupled with Chart’s process technologies, brazed aluminum heat exchangers, LH2 Storage Tanks and cold box manufacturing capabilities creates the only full-service liquefaction and equipment offering in the world.
Is there any particular project recently which Cryo Technologies is proud about, and typifies the services you provide?
CT: We have supplied two successfully operating hydrogen liquefaction plants using Cryo Technologies’ helium refrigeration process.
Are your products destined for customers in North America, or global?
CT: North America and global. Two of the largest Helium Liquefier projects in our history are in progress in Siberia.