The Calvert City Industrial Complex got a shot in the arm last week when Airgas, Inc. one of the nation’s leading suppliers of industrial, medical, and specialty gases and related products announced that it has signed a long-term agreement to build an air separation unit (ASU) to supply tonnage oxygen and nitrogen via pipeline to Westlake Vinyls, Inc.
Airgas’ new large-scale ASU is expected to be on-stream in the spring of 2016 and will also produce liquid oxygen, nitrogen, and argon to support expected growth in the region’s merchant bulk gas market.
“We’re very excited about our new relationship with Westlake and look forward to serving their atmospheric gas needs in Calvert City with our new state-of-the-art production facility,” said Airgas President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael L. Molinini.
“The new plant will be operated by Airgas Merchant Gases,” according to Tom Thoman, Airgas Division President – Gases Production. “Our investment in merchant capacity in Calvert City not only provides supply security to Westlake but also expands our merchant gas presence in this important region of the country.”
Marshall County Judge Executive Mike Miller said the economic investment in the complex is between $25 – 30 million.
“Anytime you can get an investment like this and add new jobs it’s significant,” said Miller.
He said he understands the unit will employee six to eight people, along with a number of truck drivers when it becomes operational.
According to Thoman, Airgas’ newest ASU, located in Clarksville, Tennessee, began producing atmospheric gases in May 2013.
The company is building a new ASU in Minooka, Illinois, which is scheduled to be on-stream in the summer of 2015, and recently announced plans to expand its atmospheric gas production capacity in New England by building a second ASU in Bozrah, Connecticut, which is expected to begin production in the fall of 2015.
Airgas currently owns and operates 16 ASUs and is the fifth-largest producer of atmospheric gases in the U.S.
The Company’s full range of gas supply modes – from cylinders and dewars, to microbulk, bulk, and on-site – enables its customers to optimize their production processes through the gas supply mode that most effectively and efficiently meets their needs.