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Linde starts up new air separation unit in Texas

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Linde North America has completed installation of its air separation unit (ASU) and associated supporting facilities in La Porte, Texas. The ASU produces oxygen, nitrogen and argon and is part of the US$250 million Linde North America is investing at the site that also includes a new gasification train and ancillary equipment and facilities.

"With the new plants, Linde has a fully, integrated presence in the Houston area that covers air gases and synthesis gas products production and supply to our customers," said Pat Murphy, President of Linde Americas "These additional capabilities allow Linde to better serve growth opportunities for the energy, chemicals and manufacturing industries that have been enhanced by the shale gas revolution."

The ASU will produce gaseous oxygen and nitrogen for the existing gasification units as well as a new gasifier under construction at the site. "The new gasification unit will be on stream this year, creating the world's largest gas based partial oxidation complex for the production of syngas products for petrochemicals," Murphy said.

The new gasifier will convert natural gas into syngas and constituent products such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide, which are also used to produce methanol, downstream chemicals and cleaner transportation fuels. The syngas products will be shipped by pipeline to a key customer. Linde also owns and operates three additional large, partial oxidation facilities that manufacture syngas products using Linde's world leading technologies and knowhow.

Liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon produced at the plant is being shipped by truck to serve the rapidly growing merchant market in and around the Houston Ship Channel. The liquid argon is also being shipped by rail to serve customers in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, and points in between.

The La Porte investment is part of an overall Linde expansion plan that includes a new ASU in Lewisville, Arkansas, a nitrogen liquefier in Delta, Ohio, an expansion of ultra high purity nitrogen and oxygen in Hillsboro, Oregon, upgrades of ASUs in Trail, BC, Canada, and Braddock, Pennsylvania, as well as a new specialty gases plant in Hammond, Indiana.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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