Air Products Opens LNG Heat Exchanger Manufacturing Facility in Florida
Air Products held a ceremony on Thursday to dedicate its new liquefied natural gas heat exchanger manufacturing facility in Manatee County, Florida which will double the company’s manufacturing capacity of its proprietary and world-leading technology.
Air Products’ Chairman, President and CEO John McGlade; Governor of Florida Rick Scott; and company, state and local dignitaries were present to talk about what the new facility means to the company and the state. The facility, adjacent to the Port of Manatee, currently employs over 50 people and will begin manufacturing as scheduled within the month.
“We are excited to be here today to mark the opening of this new facility. This plant will meet a defined LNG production market need around the globe. At this location, Air Products will be able to supply the additional capacity required to stay ahead of increasing customer demand, and specifically for the manufacture of larger LNG heat exchangers,” said McGlade. “This technology is a world-leading position Air Products has established over several decades, and it’s one that we intend to work hard to be sure to maintain.”
Florida Governor Scott said, “Air Products’ expansion to the Bradenton area is great news for Florida families. Last year we worked hard to remove the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment so that companies like Air Products could invest in their business and create more jobs for Florida families. In three years, we have created 440,000 private-sector jobs, and our unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent. We are committed to creating an opportunity economy in Florida that will create jobs for generations to come, and today’s announcement that Air Products is creating 250 new jobs for Florida families is a great step in that direction.”
President & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Gray Swoope said, “The expansion of Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. to the Bradenton area is a great addition to Florida’s manufacturing industry. Florida ranks among the top 10 states for manufacturing establishments. Our strong workforce and great tax benefits help companies like Air Products continue to grow and, in turn, help our state expand its growing manufacturing base.”
The location for Air Products’ Port Manatee manufacturing facility provides ready access to port services and will facilitate global shipping of what is typically already very large equipment. It will also allow Air Products to now manufacture the even larger LNG heat exchangers that are being demanded by the market. The roughly 300,000-square-foot facility could employ approximately 250 employees in a four year ramp-up period.
“The employees we have already hired at Port Manatee are eager and ready to get started manufacturing LNG heat exchangers. This site has exactly what we need to meet developing market needs, that being readily available port access that removes any shipping constraints we had previously faced with this larger equipment. This new second facility, along with our current manufacturing plant in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, should be able to meet the LNG industry needs going forward,” said Sandy McLauchlin, general manager of Air Products’ LNG engineering and manufacturing.
McLauchlin also lauded the efforts of the Manatee County Economic Development Corporation and local and state government officials in finding the Port Manatee location and for offering a number of programs to assist Air Products with its site decision. Air Products completed the land purchase for approximately 32 acres in November 2012 after announcing plans for the manufacturing facility in July 2012.
Air Products has manufactured LNG heat exchangers as large as 15.5 feet (4.7 meters) in diameter, 180 feet (55 meters) long, and weighing as much as 500 tons (455 metric tonnes) at its existing Wilkes-Barre facility for over 45 years. In July 2012, the 100th coil wound heat exchanger made at the location was shipped from the facility.
LNG World News Staff, January 10, 2014; Image: Air Products