Praxair to Build Air Separation Plant and Pipeline at Antwerp

24.06.2013 -

U.S. industrial gases producer Praxair is building its second air separation plant and extending its pipeline system in the Port of Antwerp, the world's second largest chemical complex after Houston, Texas.

The company said the new 1,300 t/d plant, to start up in early 2016, will increase its oxygen and nitrogen capacity in the port and will expand supply to several of its global customers with facilities there. Additionally, the pipeline system will be capable of distributing liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon to support producers of pharmaceuticals and chemicals as well as other products in Belgium and the Netherlands.

A number of major chemical companies, including Total, have revealed expansion plans for the Belgian hub. According to the Antwerp Port Authority, already announced investments will exceed € 1 billion, and projects worth an additional €1 billion expected to materialize there in the near future.

"The increase of installed capacity, as well as an expansion of Praxair's pipeline network in the Port of Antwerp, gives us the reach and production to supply the increasing oxygen and nitrogen demand of customers throughout the port," said Todd Skare, president of Praxair Europe. "Integrated ports such as Antwerp have remained competitive, in spite of the extended recessionary period in Europe, and we fully expect the port to continue to grow and attract significant new investment in the future," he added.

Eddy Bruyninckx, CEO of the port authority, said the new Praxair investment will enhance the competitiveness of the companies active at Antwerp