December 07, 2006 Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Air Products (NYSE: APD) today announced that it is doubling manufacturing capacity at its PRISM® membrane production plant in St. Louis, Mo. The 25,000 square foot building expansion project, expected to be on-stream in the summer of 2007, will provide the additional capacity to meet membrane product demand from several major market applications. Air Products currently produces approximately 20,000 membrane modules per year at the location.
The St. Louis facility produces advanced proprietary hollow fiber membranes which separate mixtures of gases by permeating molecules through membrane fibers at varied rates. For example, the PRISM membranes can separate compressed air -- oxygen from nitrogen -- to produce an inert nitrogen gas with 95 to 99.5 percent purity. In addition to generating nitrogen from compressed air, Air Products' membranes are also used to dry air and natural gas, and to recover for reuse industrial process gases such as hydrogen. Air Products' PRISM membranes have a wide array of applications ranging from producing gases to inert fuel tanks aboard aircraft, to use in coal mine methane recovery operations in China, for use in enriching oxygen for passengers on the world's longest and highest highland railway -- the Qinghai-Tibet railway, and to produce nitrogen for blanketing chemical, methanol and liquefied gas shipments around the globe.
"The expansion of the St. Louis plant ensures we can maintain our leadership and meet increasing requirements for membrane separators from our customers," said Charles Page, business manager for Air Products' PRISM Membrane division. "The expansion will support the tremendous worldwide growth in demand that we have experienced over the last two years across most of our major market segments."
Air Products markets robust, reliable gas separation equipment that is field-proven in a wide variety of applications. It has been operating at the St. Louis facility since 1984 and currently employs over 80 people. The production expansion has the potential to increase workforce levels by 30 to 45 positions. "We have a skilled workforce at St. Louis and are pleased to be expanding at a site where we've been manufacturing for over 20 years," Page said. "There is a favorable climate for business fostered by the Economic Council of St. Louis County and Missouri Department of Economic Development."
"We're delighted Air Products chose St. Louis County for its expansion," said St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley. "This is a great example of economic incentives making the difference in the retention and expansion of good jobs for our workers and residents."
Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment and is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE4Good Indices. The company has annual revenues of $9 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and over 20,000 employees around the globe. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary materially, due to changes in current expectations.