Airgas announces plans for new carbon dioxide plant

Airgas Inc. said Thursday it will build a 450-ton-per-day liquid carbon dioxide plant in the Houston area to replace a plant at the Shell Deer Park refinery complex expected to close later this year.

It also announced a long-term agreement with affiliates of Denbury Resources Inc. to transport and deliver feedstock of raw carbon dioxide to the new Airgas facility.

Construction is expected to begin soon and be completed in the fall.

The cost was not disclosed.

Phil Filer, president of Airgas Carbonic and Airgas Dry Ice, said the new facility and long-term feedstock agreements will allow the company to serve existing customers and expand its services in the petrochemical industry, as well the food chilling and beverage carbonation industries.

He said the company would also supply liquid carbon dioxide to the Airgas dry ice facility in LaPorte.

Filer said the new Airgas plant will use many of the existing assets from the current Deer Park facility, including storage tanks, truck-loading equipment and analytical equipment.

All Airgas production and distribution employees will move to the new facility.