Air Liquide Large Industries U.S. LP today announced the start up of a new Air Separation Unit (ASU) at its facility in Geismar, La. to increase its supply of nitrogen, oxygen and argon to customers in a range of industries, including refining, natural gas, chemicals, metals, and many others.

The new production unit has increased the site’s production capacity, enabling Air Liquide to expand its customer base while further supporting industrial growth and economic development in Louisiana. In December 2011, Air Liquide announced its agreement to supply Nucor Steel’s new Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) facility in Convent.

Michael Graff, president and CEO of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc., commented: “Air Liquide is very pleased to announce the expansion of our business in Louisiana, a state that prides itself on having one of the best business climates in the nation. Our new ASU in Geismar is a sound investment that will serve Air Liquide, our customers, and the people of Louisiana well into the future. Air Liquide is proud to be a driver of industrial growth and job creation throughout the region.”

The new ASU began commercial production in October 2011, producing high purity oxygen, nitrogen and argon for medical and industrial use. These products are delivered to customers via ground transportation and through Air Liquide’s extensive Mississippi River Pipeline system. Fourteen of the company’s air separation units are connected to the pipeline, supplying industrial gases to more than 30 customers along the Mississippi River.

The new ASU is one of three at Air Liquide’s facility in Geismar. The first ASU became operational in October of 1999, and the second in February of 2000. All three are currently operational. The Geismar complex also includes a Hydrogen Purification Unit (HPU), a Cogeneration plant that supplies approximately 80 percent of the electricity used to power the facility, and a transportation depot - Air Liquide’s largest in the U.S. in terms of output.