Demand for heat exchangers to be used in liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects around the world has prompted Air Products to construct a second heat exchanger manufacturing facility at a new location in Manatee County, FL, the company said.

The location's ready access to port services will facilitate global shipping of the large equipment and also allow Air Products to manufacture even larger LNG heat exchangers, which it said are 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 of LNG at Air Products.

The new 300,000 square-foot 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, the company said

Air Products has been manufacturing LNG heat exchangers, which may be as large as 16.5 feet in diameter, 180 feet long and weigh as much as 500 tons, at a Wilkes-Barre, PA, facility for more than 45 years.

"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..." said Sandy McLauchlin, general manager of Air Products' LNG engineering and manufacturing. "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."

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