Airgas to Build Air Separation Plant in New Carlisle, Ind.

Radnor, Pa.-based specialty gases distributor Airgas Inc. said April 25 it plans to build an air separation unit in New Carlisle, Ind., to meet increasing demand for bulk and packaged gases in the Midwest and to supply I/N Tek and I/N Kote, the major steel processing facilities owned by Mittal Steel USA and Nippon Steel. Airgas, I/N Tek, and I/N Kote have signed a long-term agreement for Airgas to supply nitrogen by pipeline, giving the project a key base-load customer. The new plant will be built on property adjacent to I/N Tek and I/N Kote. When completed in early 2009, the plant will have the capacity to liquefy at least 350 tons per day of nitrogen, oxygen, and argon, employing 15 to 20 employees in production and distribution.

"The project represents an important investment for an area of industry that has been underserved," said Patrick McMahon, executive director of Project Future, a nonprofit initiative devoted to economic development in St. Joseph County.

"The proposed air separation unit is an exciting opportunity," said St. Joseph County Commissioner Mark Dobson, R-1st. "The unit represents a substantial capital investment in this operation. That, along with the significant salary levels that will be associated with the high-tech employees who will be hired there, will be of real benefit to the community. That's what the industrial park out at New Carlisle was intended to do. So it's a very exciting opportunity for the community."

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