The Linde Group has revealed that it is making a series of investments and capital upgrades, to strengthen its North American subsidiaries’ anhydrous hydrogen chloride (HCL) supply network.

Anhydrous HCL is a key chemical for manufacturing processes ranging from semiconductors to pharmaceuticals and cotton fabric, with Linde investing in its US business in order to improve quality and supply reliability for customers. The company will upgrade 2 facilities in Lovington and Phoenix and has entered into an agreement to purchase high purity anhydrous HCL from a new manufacturer in Baytown, Texas.

Peter Thomas, Head of Sales and Marketing North America for Linde Electronics, commented, “Linde will continue strengthening its infrastructure in order to meet growing demand for high purity HCL and to get customers the quality and quantity they need.”

The new Texas source is expected to come online in May 2008 and HCL from Texas will be railed to Linde’s Lovington facility, for further purification using the latest in analytical and automation technology. New technology installed earlier this year, ensures precise moisture analysis, while the HCL is then repackaged into tube trailers and iso-containers for delivery to customers throughout the US, Canada and Caribbean.

HCL from Lovington is also trucked to Linde’s Phoenix plant for repackaging into cylinders and containers, and an expansion project underway in Phoenix will increase plant capacity by 35%. Expected to be completed in January 2008, the development will enable Linde to fill, store and ship over 3,000 additional cylinders to customers.