Despite continued external headwinds and modest economic growth prospects around the world, air separation units and other projects in the $78bn (2014) industrial gases business continue to emerge globally throughout the year – such is the industry’s role at the heart of most end-user markets and applications.
Numerous significant ASU projects were either completed or announced in a number of regional markets this year, and further capacity additions are expected to be realised in 2016. Here are some of gasworld’s highlights of global project developments in the next 12 months.
Here you can find gasworld’s edited highlights, in the Europe region.
Linde brings not one but two developments to fruition in Finland in 2016. The company, via its Linde Gases division, will bring on-stream on-site nitrogen and oxygen production plants in Äänekoski for two companies in the country’s pulp and paper industry, as part of a total investment of around €15m ($16.1m).
The long-term on-site gas supply agreements include plant installation, operation and maintenance; both will be constructed by Linde’s Engineering Division.
Linde will also complete construction of a new hydrogen production plant for Neste Oil’s Porvoo refinery near Helsinki as part of a long-term onsite hydrogen supply contract. The total investment value from Linde and Neste Oil amounts to approximately €100m. The Porvoo refinery already had two hydrogen production units, with the older one to be replaced by the new, more efficient unit this year. Spring-summer 2016 is understood to be the timeline for completion and commencement of operations.
Like France, Germany continues to make considerable progress with its infrastructure for a hydrogen economy, and 2016 is set to see an initial stage of 50 hydrogen filling stations realised in the construction of a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure.
As part of this expansion programme, the developing Daimler-Linde initiative is participating in a total of 20 new hydrogen stations with a total investment of approximately €20m.
Praxair increases its oxygen and nitrogen capacity in the Port Of Antwerp this year, with the completion of a 1,300 tpd plant in the petrochemical basin. Its second such ASU in the enclave, Praxair expects the plant to be ready for start-up in early 2016, designed to produce liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon to support customers in the pharmaceutical, chemical, glass, cement, metal fabrication and food industries in Belgium and the Netherlands.
In Ghent, northwest Belgium, the new CO2 recovery unit of Messer, Ijsfabriek Strombeek and the bio-refinery Alco Bio Fuel (ABF) is set to come into action in summer 2016. The triumvirate invested around €15m in the project, which will recover and process no less than 100,000 tonnes of green CO2 per year. The plant will also help to reduce CO2 emissions in Belgium. Converted liquid CO2 will be re-used in the food and drink industry, in water purification, for refrigerated transport applications, or as a chemical source.
Air Liquide will be playing a key role in an international project known as ITER next year, which aims to develop an experimental fusion reactor as a new source of energy. Fusion for Energy (F4E) has signed a contract with Air Liquide for the supply of cryogenic equipment that will complete the largest centralised refrigeration system ever built. Air Liquide will install and commission the equipment – including two new refrigerators – at the ITER site in Cadarache, in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, near Marseille, in early 2016.
Linde technology will also be deployed at a project in France, with its oxyfuel technology to be used in Constellium’s recycling and melting furnaces at its finishing and recycling aluminium facility in Neuf-Brisach. The joint development agreement will build on the recent successful implementation of Linde’s technology at the site, where two of the four rotary tilting furnaces have been converted to low-temperature oxyfuel combustion technology. Conversion of the remaining furnaces is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2016.
Meanwhile, France continues to move forward with its infrastructure for a hydrogen economy, and 2016 will see McPhy Energy install its production and storage equipment at a filling station in Sarreguemines, with planned start-up for the station in the second half of 2016.
A cylinder filling plant is scheduled to be operational in the special economic zone Łódź in Turek, Poland in third quarter 2016. The product of the Messer Group, the facility follows completion of an air gas production plant at the site in third quarter 2015. Messer invested a combined €33m in the two projects.
Messer also welcomes a modern ASU into service in Slovenia in the year ahead. Messer invested around €15m in the ASU in Škofja Loka, with ground at the site to be broken at the start of 2016; it is scheduled that the plant will be ready within one year. When fully commissioned, up to 20 new jobs will be created.
Linde is to bring a new state-of-the-art onsite ammonia production plant on-stream in the Togliatti industrial hub of Russia in 2016, as part of a newly formed joint venture – Linde Nitrogen Togliatti – with JSC KuibyshevAzot. The plant will have a production capacity of 1,340 tpd ammonia. JSC KuibyshevAzot is one of the biggest chemical companies in Russia and plans to expand its Togliatti production capacity for caprolactam – a precursor of polyamide plastics – and nitrogen fertilisers.
In central Russia’s Samara region, Praxair will put a new 1,400 tpd ASU into service with OJSC KuibyshevAzot in a joint venture to produce onsite oxygen, nitrogen and compressed dry air for the latter’s expanding caprolactam, fertilizer and ammonia production, as well as liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon for sale to customers in the Volga region. Start-up the new plant is set for mid-2016.
Finally, Air Products welcomes a new ASU on-board this year in Perm as part of an agreement with Sibur-Khimprom, a subsidiary of Sibur Holding. Under the deal, Air Products will supply industrial gases to Sibur’s Perm subsidiary and invest its own cash to build and operate the new ASU. After commissioning, Air Products will supply industrial gases for Sibur-Khimprom over the next 20 years.
*All projects, timelines and capacities correct as of original press releases.