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Air Products to expand LNG manufacturing site

LNG Industry,

Air Products has announced plans to expand its LNG heat exchanger manufacturing capacity by constructing a second manufacturing facility at a new location in Manatee County, Florida. This location’s ready access to port services will facilitate global shipping of this very large equipment and also allow Air Products to manufacture even larger LNG heat exchangers demanded by the market. 

“The number of potential LNG projects in the pipeline is at an all-time high due to the strong demand for cleaner fuels in growing economies worldwide. Additionally, several of the projects on the horizon will require the largest heat exchangers we have ever built and the new location does not face the same shipping constraints of our current location,” said Jim Solomon, director - LNG at Air Products. “We believe the site we have selected in Florida offers exactly what we need. The new facility will be built at a deepwater port location with the flexibility to produce our LNG offerings without any physical shipping restrictions.” The new 300,000 ft2 LNG manufacturing facility, which will employ approximately 250 employees in a four year ramp-up period, is to be complete and begin operations in late 2013. 

Air Products has been manufacturing LNG heat exchangers, which may be as large as 16.5 ft (5 m) in diameter, 180 ft (55 m) long, and weigh as much as 500 tonnes, at its existing Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania facility for over 45 years. In fact, the 100th coil wound heat exchanger made at that location just recently shipped. 

“Our technology’s reputation was built on the work conducted and LNG heat exchangers manufactured at Wilkes-Barre. Due to the various constraints in the shipping process for the even larger heat exchangers that are required to satisfy the capacities forecasted to be required by customers, we needed to remove these constraints to remain globally competitive in this technology…We intend to operate both facilities for the foreseeable future in order to meet the forecasted customer demand for LNG heat exchangers of all sizes,” said Sandy McLauchlin, general manager of Air Products’ LNG engineering and manufacturing.

Adapted from press release by Peter Farrell.

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