With the advent of the New Year, only twelve months remain until the expected start-up of Air Water Carbonic’s new liquid carbon dioxide (LCO2) and dry ice production facility in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

The facility is located on the grounds of the Seibu Oil refinery and is expected to start-up in January 2013. Air Water Carbonic is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air Water.

The liquefaction capacity of the new plant will be around 90,000 tons per year for CO2, while the production capacity for dry ice will amount to around 30,000 tons per year. The facility will recover the by-product gas as the source material from the hydrogen generator used for desulpherisation at the refinery, liquefying and purifying this to create LCO2 and dry ice.

With investment in the plant totalling up to ¥2.5bn, Air Water Carbonic reportedly plans to market the entire amount produced.

Air Water Carbonic currently has its own offices and agents at eight locations across Japan and a capacity to supply up to 722,000 tons of LCO2 and 242,000 tons of dry ice per year. In the Chugoku Area, the company has a centre to take over the source material for LCO2 and dry ice from the Mizushima Refinery of Asahi Kasei, located in the city of Kurashiki.

This latter refinery, however, has plans to withdraw from the production of ammonia as of February (2012), meaning that this source of CO2 and dry ice is set to dry-up. The new plant set for start-up in January 2013 will be positioned as a replacement facility in the Chugoku Area. Further still, it will actually boast a production capacity around 1.6 times greater for LCO2 and twice as big for dry ice than before.