MATHESON has entered into an agreement with Sasol to supply tonnage oxygen and nitrogen to Sasol’s world-scale ethane cracker, which is part of Sasol’s $8.1bn expansion in Lake Charles, LA.  

MATHESON’s new Air Separation Unit (ASU) will augment existing operations, supplying both Sasol and existing customers while also providing for additional expansion in the Lake Charles area.

“This ASU reflects the drive by MATHESON to further develop and reinforce our existing coast-to-coast bulk industrial gas network in the Sunbelt of the US,” stated Scott Kallman, President and CEO of MATHESON. “With the start-up of the new ASU, MATHESON will also continue implementation of our vertical integration strategy establishing cylinder gas and welding supply products distribution to complement our bulk capabilities and thereby meet the total industrial gas and equipment needs of our customers safely and reliably.”

“We are delighted to have been chosen to support this project which demonstrates our commitment to a long term relationship not only with Sasol but also with our current customer base and the Louisiana Gulf Coast region,” commented MATHESON Senior Vice President, Nigel McMullen. “The ASU and pipeline will be constructed, owned and operated by MATHESON. The ASU distillation columns, often referred to as the ‘cold box,’ will be engineered and manufactured utilising the technology and facilities of MATHESON’s parent company, Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) in Japan. There have been seven TNSC cold boxes installed in the US in the past 10 years. The quality and operating efficiencies of the TNSC plants are world class.”

According to Louisiana Economic Development (LED), over 130 new direct and indirect jobs in Louisiana will be traceable to the MATHESON project. These jobs are in addition to the jobs created by the Sasol expansion project itself.

MATHESON’s ASU complex is scheduled for completion in 2016, while Sasol’s ethane cracker and derivatives complex is scheduled for startup in 2018.

Cracking is the process where long hydrocarbon chains are broken down into simpler structures by breaking the carbon-carbon bonds in the precursors.