Linde North America has broken ground for an air separation unit (ASU) plant in La Porte, TX, part of a $200 million investment that is to include a gasification train and supporting facilities. The German-based The Linde Group unit, set to begin operations in 1Q2015, would be the largest single site investment in plant and equipment to date in the United States. Oxygen and nitrogen produced by the ASU would supply gasification assets at the Texas site, converting natural gas into syngas and constituent products such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide, which are used to produce methanol, downstream chemicals and cleaner transportation fuels (see related story). The syngas products would be served by pipeline to a “key” customer, the company said. “Coupled with our unique portfolio of industrial gas and hydrocarbons technology, engineering and operations capabilities, the new plants will allow Linde to better serve the petrochemicals industry that is being driven to new heights by the shale gas revolution,” said Linde North America President Pat Murphy.
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