Linde North America has completed the installation of the gasifier vessel, a significant step in the construction of its new gasification train at its La Porte, Texas, facility.

The plant is part of a more than $250m investment that also includes a state-of-the art air separation unit (ASU), which is also under construction. The gasification plant is scheduled to come on-stream in early 2015.

The new gasifier will convert natural gas into syngas which can be processed into 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.

Russ Tietjen, Project Manager for the gasification plant, said, “The addition of the new gasification train will create the world’s largest natural gas-based partial oxidation complex for the production of syngas products for petrochemicals.”

Linde also owns and operates two additional large, partial oxidation facilities at the site that manufacture syngas products.

The ASU, slated to be operational in December this year, will be the largest operated by Linde in the US. The air gases (oxygen and nitrogen) produced by the new ASU will supply the gasification assets at the La Porte site. The plant will also produce liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon to serve the rapidly growing merchant markets in and around the Houston Ship Channel and beyond.