Airgas Inc. has today announced that it will build a new 450 tpd liquid CO2 plant at the Shell Deer Park Refinery Complex near Houston, Texas and has also entered into a 15 year agreement with Shell Oil Company, which will supply the feedstock of raw CO2 for the Airgas facility.

Shell Global Solutions is believed to have played an important role in the development of the project, identifying the opportunity and creating a framework for the collaboration.

Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership, a partnership between Shell Oil Company and PMI Norteamerica S.A de C.V, will construct a pipeline to the Airgas facility where the raw CO2 will be purified and liquefied for commercial and beverage-grade use.

Division president Ted Schulte, whose division includes Airgas Carbonic and Airgas Dry Ice, commented, “By building a new world-class facility at this important petrochemical refinery, Airgas will better serve carbon dioxide customers in the greater south central Texas market. We currently serve customers in this region through a smaller plant in La Porte, Texas as well as by bringing in products from Star, Mississippi. This new site will create a stronger network of plants for our liquid merchant customers and for our own dry ice production.”

“Shell Global Solutions and the refinery are working with Airgas to optimise available resources. We are building on our experience in optimising operations by developing and implementing solutions across the carbon energy value chain,” said Aamir Farid, general manager of Shell Deer Park Refining Company.

Airgas is already a major player in the overall CO2 market in the US. Airgas Carbonic is the second-largest manufacturer and distributor of liquid CO2 in the US and the largest in the Southeast US, with 6 production facilities serving 19 states. Airgas Dry Ice is also the largest producer and distributor of dry ice nationwide with dry ice plants and distribution points across the US.

Liquid CO2 and dry ice are used predominantly in food service and preparation and beverage facilities for freezing, chilling and in-transit applications.