Two major investments have been announced in the Texas region, from two of the gases industry’s biggest players, Linde and Air Liquide, respectively.

Linde North America is to invest more than $200m in the construction of a large, state-of-the art air separation unit (ASU), a new gasification train, and supporting equipment and facilities in La Porte, Texas.

Air Liquide, meanwhile, has recently signed a new long-term contract with LyondellBasell in the US to provide steam, power, air gases and water to three LyondellBasell sites in the Bayport Industrial District in Pasadena, Texas. The agreement expands Air Liquide’s existing relationship with LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and fuels companies in the world.

Fully integrated presence

The state-of-the art plants revealed by Linde North America are scheduled to come on-stream in the first quarter of 2015.

The ASU will be the largest operated by Linde in the US and the addition of a new gasification plant will create the world’s largest gas-based partial oxidation complex for the production of syngas products for petrochemicals.

The air gases (oxygen and nitrogen) produced by the new ASU will supply the gasification assets at the La Porte site. The new gasifier will convert natural gas into syngas and constituent products such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide, which are used to produce methanol, downstream chemicals and cleaner transportation fuels. The syngas products will be served by pipeline to a key customer.

Dr. Rainer Schlicher, head of global business unit, tonnage, said of the investments, “With the new plants, Linde will have a fully, integrated presence in the Houston area that covers air gases and synthesis gas products production and supply to our customers.”

Major hub

Under Air Liquide’s new agreement with LyondellBasell Group, an overall investment worth around €180 million ($230 million), the former will re-invest in a state-of-the-art, energy efficient cogeneration unit, increasing its capacity and extending its life by more than 20 years.

The facility will have a full capacity of 300 megawatts of electricity and more than 1,300 tonnes of steam per hour. Air Liquide is also investing in ASU upgrading, capacity expansion and additional infrastructure at the facility.

Additional capacity from these investments will also provide for the needs of other customers throughout the Texas regional basin. The Bayport basin is a key industrial hub for major petrochemical and refining activities in the area.

Michael Graff, Air Liquide senior vice-president and a member of the Executive Committee, commented, “We want to thank the LyondellBasell Group for its continued trust in Air Liquide as its supplier of choice. With this investment, Air Liquide further demonstrates its capacity to meet the growing needs of long-term customers and the rising demands of major industrial hubs around the world with highly reliable products and services delivered with world class safety and efficiency.”