New ASU Facility Also Expands Regional Integrated Merchant Gases Opportunities
LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., April 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Air Products (APD) announced today an agreement to build, own, and operate a second air separation unit (ASU) to support Big River Steel LLC's expansion at its Osceola, Arkansas steel mill. The new ASU, scheduled to be onstream in January 2021, adds to Air Products' existing ASU at the same location and will provide oxygen, nitrogen and argon to both Big River Steel and the merchant market. Additionally, the two companies' current long-term industrial gas supply contract was extended several years.
"One of our core company goals is to provide excellent customer service and we believe that a second ASU and contract extension with Big River is a good indication we are meeting that goal. Big River is a premier steel manufacturer and we are pleased to be a key contributor to their expansion plans at Osceola. Our ASU will be important to Big River's operations and our expanded facility's configuration will allow us to further enhance reliability of product supply to Big River and to increase our industrial gas supply to current and new merchant market customers," said Marie Ffolkes, president, Americas at Air Products.
Big River Steel's Chief Executive Officer David Stickler commented, "Big River Steel is pleased with Air Products' performance and I look forward to expanding our relationship as Big River Steel doubles its steelmaking capacity."
The new facility will be capable of producing over 250 tons per day (TPD) of oxygen and additional quantities of liquid products, boosting Air Products' liquid bulk business for the merchant market which is seeing regional growth in several segments including food, metals, construction and stainless-steel industries.
Air Products has supplied Big River Steel at Osceola from a dedicated ASU since 2016. Big River Steel announced in June 2018 that it is expanding its LEED-certified, Arkansas-based scrap recycling and steel production facility. The expansion will double Big River Steel's hot-rolled steel production capacity to 3.3 million tons annually. In addition, the expansion will facilitate the company's ability to produce even higher grades of electrical steel, demand for which is expected to increase with continued focus on energy efficiency and the increase in hybrid and electric vehicle sales.
Air Products currently owns and operates over 300 air separation plants in over 40 countries worldwide in all types of applications. In addition to its plants, the company has sold, designed, and built more than 2,000 air separation plants globally. Air Products' cryogenic offerings span a range of production capabilities, from plants with a capacity of 50 TPD, to single train facilities with oxygen production capacities beyond 4,000 TPD.
About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE: APD) is a world-leading industrial gases company in operation for over 75 years. The Company provides industrial gases and related equipment to dozens of industries, including refining, chemical, metals, electronics, manufacturing, and food and beverage. Air Products is also the world's leading supplier of liquefied natural gas process technology and equipment.
The Company had fiscal 2018 sales of $8.9 billion from operations in 50 countries and has a current market capitalization of about $40 billion. Approximately 16,000 passionate, talented and committed employees from diverse backgrounds are driven by Air Products' higher purpose to create innovative solutions that benefit the environment, enhance sustainability and address the challenges facing customers, communities, and the world. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
About Big River Steel
Big River Steel invested $1.3 billion to build and start up the world's first Flex Mill™, a steel mini mill focused on the production of a wide product spectrum, including advanced automotive steels and electrical steels. Since operations began in early 2017, Big River Steel has provided steel products to nearly 200 customers in the automotive, energy, construction and agricultural industries. At Big River Steel, there's no talk of the status quo. True innovation leads to growth and is rebellious.
NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management's reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the company's Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2018.