Linde Adds Neon Capacity in US
German industrial gases and engineering group Linde is expanding production for neon, a rare gas, at its site in La Porte, Texas, USA. The new facility, part of a $250 million investment at the site, will add 40 million liters annually. A start-up date has not been disclosed. Linde Electronics and Specialty Gases is spending the remainder of the investment sum to upgrade purification and distribution capabilities at several locations around the world as it seeks to secure long-term supply of the gas for its customers.
Matt Adams, vice president of Linde’s electronics and premium products business, said the project is an important part of the group’s strategy to increase its overall neon supply and meet the growing needs of its customers. The group plans to market the additional output to customers in the semiconductor and laser vision correction fields.
Adams said the investment will allow Linde to further enhance its leadership position well into the future. Neon, a byproduct of very large oxygen plants, is reported to have been in unusually short supply in 2015 and 2016 after a long period of oversupply after the US and the former Soviet Union wound down their laser weaponry production. According to the trade journal Gasworld, global output shrank to around 400 million liters in 2015, with demand at about 475 million liters.