Praxair, Inc. will build a new air separation unit (ASU) supporting its Detroit, Michigan, area pipeline system to meet the growing demand for industrial gases from customers in the region as well as rare gas customers worldwide.

This expansion coincides with renewals of multiple existing pipeline customer agreements. The project will include the installation of state-of-the-art operating equipment and systems. 

The new 1,650 tons per day plant will begin operations in 2017 and will supply existing pipeline customers with improved efficiency and continued reliability. The plant will also produce liquid oxygen, nitrogen, argon and rare gases for use by hospitals, food processors, and industrial companies supplying the automobile industry. 

“We understand that efficient and reliable supply of industrial gases to our customers’ operations in the area is critical to their success and our expanded capacity will continue to help us meet growing customer needs,” said Joe Abdoo, central region vice president of Praxair’s U.S. industrial gases business. “Our investments in the greater Detroit area are possible, in part, because local and state government officials and DTE Energy understand our business and have helped support Praxair in Michigan.” 

Praxair operates the only air separation plant and pipeline system in Michigan, including five ASUs and a hydrogen production facility located along the border of Ecorse and River Rouge. The complex supplies pipeline customers from Southwest Detroit to Dearborn as well as merchant customers throughout Eastern Michigan and Northwestern Ohio. 

Manufacturers can use large quantities of industrial gases to run their plants and, in many cases, enhance their productivity and improve their environmental performance. Pipeline access to these industrial gases is desirable for such manufacturers for the reliable supply of high volumes of gases that enable them to compete more effectively in an increasingly competitive global economy. 

“Praxair’s investment in Ecorse represents a strong vote of confidence in our community and evidence that our city is on track toward a stable and sustainable future. I look forward to working with and supporting Praxair on this project,” said Ecorse Mayor Lamar Tidwell.