Air Products Buying GE’s Gasification arm
US industrial gases producer Air Products is acquiring General Electric’s gasification business, a move the company said will enable it to expand its synthesis portfolio and strengthen its position in the global market.
Financial terms of the deal expected to complete following the receipt of all regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions are not being disclosed.
Acquiring both GE’s gasification technology and its business will complement the Air Products’ other recently completed gasification technology acquisition and alliance formation, said CEO Seifi Ghasemi. In May, the Pennsylvania-based company bought Shell’s coal gasification technology licensing business for an undisclosed sum.
GE’s gasification assets include half of its 50:50 joint venture with China Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Company, a subsidiary of China Energy Group. The jv formed in 2011 provides technologies for gasification projects in China.
Its latest purchase will give Air Products a broad range of product and service offerings and solutions to provide syngas for chemicals, fuels, power or refining, while extending its onsite industrial gas production model to include syngas supply and enabling cross-selling opportunities for its other technologies and products, Ghasemi said.
With the acquisition, Air Products will gain more than 1,000 patents relating to GE’s gasification technology, which it said has been deployed at over 90 sites, representing more than 36,000 MWth (thermal megawatts) of syngas production.
Ghasemi said potential cross-selling opportunities could include air separation units, pressure swing absorbers and carbon monoxide cold box equipment. Air Products also sees other possible business opportunities in plant support and cryomachinery. Altogether, the GE business employs 50 people, directly and in joint ventures.
Lu’an coal gasification starts in China
Separately, at the beginning of November Air Products brought on stream its Lu’an coal gasification project in Changzhi City, Shanxi Province, China, supplying syngas and other industrial gases to the syngas-to-liquids production of Shanxi Lu’an Coal-based Clean Energy Co.
The world-scale gasification project comprises four large air separation units (ASUs), four gasifiers and two syngas clean-up systems supporting one of China’s landmark clean energy demonstration projects. The gasifiers are claimed to be the largest pulverized coal gasifiers adopting Shell’s technologies.
In 2013, Air Products signed an agreement with Lu’an Mining to build, own and operate the four ASUs capable of supplying over 10,000 t/d of oxygen, more than 6,000 t/d of nitrogen and over 700 t/d of instrument air to Lu’an Clean Energy in Changzhi.
In September 2017, the US gases producer formed a 60:40 joint venture with Lu’an Clean Energy to own and operate the ASUs as well as the gasification and syngas clean-up systems at the Changzhi site, thereby extending its competence to coal gasification and syngas supply.