Praxair, Inc. will build, own, and operate a new air separation unit (ASU) in South Carolina, US.

Praxair, the largest industrial gases company in the Americas, will construct a new ASU to supply Toray Carbon Fibers America, Inc. with nitrogen (N2).

In a long-term contract, Praxair will provide N2 to the Japanese company to be used in manufacturing carbon fibre at its new Spartanburg County facility.

The plant, which is expected to start up in 2017, will generate carbon fibre for the aerospace, automotive, and other manufacturing customers, both regionally and internationally.

Todd F. Lawson, Vice President of Praxair’s US East Region enthused about the partnership, saying, “We are very pleased to have been selected by Toray and are looking forward to providing one of the world’s leading carbon fibre manufacturers an efficient, reliable supply of industrial gases as it continues to grow in South Carolina and globally.

“With this plant we are also enhancing density in our strong Carolina supply network, further enabling us to serve the growing demand for our products.”

According to gasworld Business Intelligence, the South East region of the US is the largest contributor to the country’s industrial gas market, with almost a quarter of all revenues stemming from the region. Recent analysis suggests that Praxair, who are dominant in many other regions of the US, occupy the fifth largest market share in the South East.

James Barr, Business Analyst at gasworld Business Intelligence, suggests “Praxair is close behind both Airgas and Linde, in terms of revenues produced in the region. The company will need to continue to secure similar contracts in the South East to maintain its market share, as most other Tier One companies are in the planning or construction phase of major capacity additions.”