Linde North America celebrated the official start-up of its atmospheric gases unit and gasification train, along with associated supporting facilities, in La Porte, Texas. Customers, local and state officials and Linde executives who attended the ribbon-cutting event were given a tour of the new facilities as well as an explanation of the air separation and syngas processes and the markets served.
Pat Murphy, president of Linde Americas, said, “This is the first in a series of investments Linde will be making in Texas. It is our intent to leverage this new investment to stimulate further growth by bringing reliable and competitively priced products and services to the region. We’re here today thanks to the growth of customers we already serve and the opportunity to serve new customers and markets. We believe our investment will also attract other companies that require our products and services to the Gulf region.”
The new Linde ASU produces oxygen, nitrogen and argon and is part of the $250 million Linde North America invested at the site that also includes a new gasification train and ancillary equipment and facilities.
“The successful completion of the two projects represents the coordination and teamwork established among the key Linde groups: Business Development, Global Project Execution, Linde Gas Operations and Linde Engineering’s Munich, Germany, and Blue Bell, PA centers,” said Murphy. “Collectively they delivered these projects on time and without losing sight of the business needs of The Linde Group and its customers.”
The ASU produces gaseous oxygen and nitrogen for the existing gasification units as well as a new gasifier at the site. “The ASU facilities will be the largest operated by Linde in the United States and the gasification enhancements render this the largest gas-based partial oxidation complex in the world to produce syngas products for petrochemicals,” said Chuck Brooks, Head of Project Execution - North America - Tonnage.
Liquid oxygen and nitrogen produced by the plant is shipped by truck to serve the rapidly growing merchant market in and around the Houston Ship Channel. The liquid argon is being shipped by rail to serve customers in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest – and points in between.
The new gasifier converts 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 are 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 know-how.
The La Porte investment is part of an aggressive Linde expansion effort 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.