Praxair Wins Antwerp Industrial Gases Contract

28.01.2016 -

US industrial gases giant Praxair has signed a 15-year contract to supply oxygen and nitrogen to Total in the Port of Antwerp, Belgium.

Total is spending €1 billion to upgrade its refining and petrochemicals complex and will require increased quantities of industrial gases for several of its production processes.

The upgrade of the refinery should be finished early this year. A new plant to convert low-value refinery fuel gases into low-cost petrochemical feedstock, replacing oil-based naphtha, is planned to go on stream in early 2017.

Praxair is also extending its recently built oxygen pipeline by another three miles to connect with Total’s refinery. The gases company will also lengthen its nitrogen pipeline on the west bank of the river Scheldt to serve both existing and new petrochemical customers.

Given the significant investments made in the port’s capacity and infrastructure over the past several years, Praxair said there was growing demand for nitrogen for blanketing and inerting the chemicals being stored. It expects the pipeline supply of oxygen and nitrogen to be ready in the second half of this year.

Frank Wegmann, managing director of Praxair Germany and Benelux, said the pipeline expansion enhanced its ability to effectively meet companies’ needs in the expanding chemical park.

Separately, Praxair has started up a large air separation plant in northern China for Yankuang Guohong Chemical. Under a long-term contract, Praxair’s 3,000 t/d plant will supply oxygen and nitrogen to Yankuang, replacing the existing customer-owned units.

The industrial gases will be used in Yankuang’s coal gasification process to produce methanol and other chemicals.