Air Products Manatee County, Florida, Production Plant Begins Operation
According to company officials, the heat exchanger was transported from the Air Products facility, crossing over Route 41 directly onto the property of Port Manatee, where it will be loaded on a barge and shipped to a customer for a major liquefied natural gas project along the United States (U.S.) Gulf Coast.
"I am proud to say that no one in the world builds coil wound heat exchangers as large as we do. The largest LNG plants in the world use our technology. We needed a second manufacturing location, which would eliminate any transportation limitations regarding product size," said Sandy McLauchlin, General Manager - LNG & CryoMachinery Engineering and Manufacturing at Air Products. "When we selected this site, we believed it provided us with everything we needed in an operational location. I can tell you we made a wise choice. This new facility will help us maintain our market leadership position."
Typically an LNG heat exchanger can be as large as over 15 feet in diameter and 180 feet long, or about two-thirds of the size of a football field. A finished unit can weigh as much as 500 tons. "It remains to be seen how big we will build one here, but we are confident that at this new location, we can build an LNG heat exchanger to the size of whatever the market requires," McLauchlin said.
This first unit produced here at Port Manatee is also the company's first shipment to a Gulf Coast location, and is the second U.S. location for Air Products' LNG technology as part of responding to the needs of the LNG export industry in the U.S., company officials explained. In fact, the first two units to be produced at the Port Manatee facility will travel by barge to locations on the U.S. Gulf Coast for LNG export terminal projects.
One of the key draws for Air Products to locate the facility in Port Manatee was its ease of access to a port berth for shipping the proprietary and large equipment. "Both Air Products and Port Manatee benefit from their strong collaboration," said Betsy Benac, Chair of the Manatee County Port Authority. "Air Products has proven to be a huge asset to Manatee County in providing high paying jobs and other economic benefits, and we are looking forward to many more years of cooperation."
The Port Manatee facility doubles the company's manufacturing capacity. The over 300,000 square foot facility was dedicated in January 2014. Air Products completed the land purchase for approximately 32 acres in November 2012, after announcing plans for the manufacturing facility in July 2012.
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