Praxair Distribution has announced that it will permanently relocate its industrial gases distribution facility, formerly located in St. Louis, to an existing company property on Judith Lane in Cahokia, Ill.

Company spokesman Nigel Muir informed gasworld that Praxair has been using the facility as a temporary base in the area since June last year. According to Mr Muir it will take the company about 12-18 months to expand and renovate the site.

Wayne Yakich, president of Praxair Distribution, continued: "Praxair has been warmly welcomed to Illinois by the state and local authorities and it is our intention to renovate and expand the facility and add a small number of new jobs in the future. We are also pleased to continue our good relationships with the City of Cahokia and St. Clair County where we\\$quot;ve had business activities for the last 15 years."

Praxair acquired the Cahokia facility in 1991 for use as a warehouse, store and distribution centre for cylinder gases in Illinois and Missouri. It closed this site down when it established its larger facility in St. Louis in 1999.

"Praxair will have 60 employees in Cahokia when it is fully operational," Yakich said. "We also plan to invest approximately $3.5 million in renovating and upgrading the facility during this time."