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Air Products opens LNG heat exchanger manufacturing facility

LNG Industry,

Air Products held a ceremony on 9th January to dedicate its new liquefied natural gas (LNG) heat exchanger manufacturing facility in Manatee County, Florida. The new facility will double the company’s manufacturing capacity.

Company CEO, John McGlade, Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, and a number of company, state and local dignitaries attended the ceremony to discuss the prospects of the new LNG heat exchanger manufacturing facility. The facility currently employs over 50 people and will begin manufacturing by the end of January.

CEO McGlade commented: "We are excited to be here today to mark the opening of this new facility. This plant will meet a defined LNG production market need around the globe. At this location, Air Products will be able to supply the additional capacity required to stay ahead of increasing customer demand, and specifically for the manufacture of larger LNG heat exchangers. This technology is a world-leading position Air Products has established over several decades, and it's one that we intend to work hard to be sure to maintain."

Florida Governor Scott said: "Air Products' expansion to the Bradenton area is great news for Florida families. Last year we worked hard to remove the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment so that companies like Air Products could invest in their business and create more jobs for Florida families. In three years, we have created 440 000 private-sector jobs, and our unemployment rate dropped to 6.7%. We are committed to creating an opportunity economy in Florida that will create jobs for generations to come, and today's announcement that Air Products is creating 250 new jobs for Florida families is a great step in that direction."

CEO of Enterprise Florida, Gray Swoope commented: "The expansion of Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. to the Bradenton area is a great addition to Florida's manufacturing industry. Florida ranks among the top 10 states for manufacturing establishments. Our strong workforce and great tax benefits help companies like Air Products continue to grow and, in turn, help our state expand its growing manufacturing base."

LNG heat exchangers
The manufacturing facility is located at Port Manatee, providing ready access to port services and facilitating global shipping of large equipment. It will also allow Air Products to manufacture even larger LNG heat exchangers that are being demanded by the market. The facility, which is approximately 300 000 ft2, could employ 250 employees in a four year ramp-up period.

"The employees we have already hired at Port Manatee are eager and ready to get started manufacturing LNG heat exchangers. This site has exactly what we need to meet developing market needs, that being readily available port access that removes any shipping constraints we had previously faced with this larger equipment. This new second facility, along with our current manufacturing plant in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, should be able to meet the LNG industry needs going forward," explained Sandy McLauchlin, general manager of Air Products' LNG engineering and manufacturing.

McLauchlin also praised the efforts of the Manatee County Economic Development Corporation and local and state government officials in finding the Port Manatee location and for offering a number of programs to assist Air Products with its site decision. Air Products completed the land purchase for approximately 32 acres in November 2012 after announcing plans for the manufacturing facility in July 2012.

Air Products has manufactured LNG heat exchangers as large as 4.7 m in diameter, 55 m long, and weighing as much as 500 t at its Wilkes-Barre facility.

The company’s LNG process technology and equipment is the heart of an LNG production plant. The technology takes the valuable resource of natural gas at remote locations and unlocks its potential by liquefying it, making it possible to economically ship it to global markets.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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