Tier One player, Air Products, is investing in a multi-million-pound renovation of its currently existing production facility in Manchester in the UK.

Marking a significant milestone in the project, the US-based company will install several major elements throughout this month, including installing a super-efficient cold box to manufacture liquid oxygen (O2), nitrogen (N2) and argon (Ar).

The new 55m structure, which has been designed and manufactured by Air Products’ own engineers in the UK, also contains a highly engineered distillation process which operates at -186°C.

It’s a fantastic achievement to create a new, more efficient industrial gas production plant on the same site as the process we are replacing, while it is still operating

Although a specific sum was not disclosed, it is understood that the upgrade will improve environmental performance and generate increased production levels, thus allowing the company to support its growing customer base across the North of the UK and the Midlands.

As space was not available to build the new plant alongside the existing facility, engineers at the industrial gas company have effectively built the new plant on top of the previously existing site. The company states that there were no unplanned interruptions during the 18-month upgrading process.

Upgrading the technology

Carrington cold box continuing operations

Carrington cold box installation

Leyland Harrison, Senior Principle Project Engineer for Air Products, enthused, “It’s a fantastic achievement to create a new, more efficient industrial gas production plant on the same site as the process we are replacing, while it is still operating.”

“It’s a bit like doing open heart surgery, but making sure that we have the new heart working perfectly before we take the old one out.” 

Air Products decided to upgrade the technology at plant, which has been running since the 1960’s, in order to provide higher product quality and reliability for the region in the future.

Tim Hulbert, Vice-President of Air Products’ industrial gases businesses in the UK and Ireland, added, “This is an exciting chapter in Carrington’s development, as we prepare for future growth by making a significant investment in the site and our technology. Our continued commitment to the North West means that our customers who depend on our industrial gases can continue to rely on us as we grow our capacity to meet their needs.”