HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Air Liquide Industrial U.S. LP (Air Liquide) today announced that it has completed construction of an APSA on-site nitrogen production plant in Moses Lake, Washington that will supply high purity (gaseous) nitrogen to a new lightweight carbon fibers production facility operated by SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers LLC, (SGL ACF), a joint venture between SGL Group and the BMW Group.
Air Liquide’s offer includes installation, operation and maintenance of the system allowing the customer to focus on their core business. Air Liquide’s APSA technology allows for cost effective on-site generation of high purity nitrogen using a cryogenic distillation process. On-site production substantially reduces the carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint when compared to conventional liquid supply by eliminating the incremental electricity required to liquefy the gaseous nitrogen and the diesel fuel required to transport the liquid nitrogen from the off-site production plant to the customer’s facility. As a general rule, on-site gaseous nitrogen production from an Air Liquide APSA plant will reduce CO2 emissions by two-thirds compared to off-site production and transport of liquid nitrogen.
According to SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers officials, Air Liquide established the lowest carbon footprint of all competing vendors and met the rigorous “green” criteria included in the processes to produce lightweight carbon fibers and fabrics.
The lightweight carbon fibers manufactured in Moses Lake will be used by the automaker BMW Group in its production of a new generation of lightweight electric automobiles, namely the BMW i3, which is scheduled to launch in 2013. SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers will begin manufacturing lightweight carbon fibers at the Moses Lake plant in Q3 2011. The lightweight carbon fiber manufacturing process requires the continuous use of high purity nitrogen to inert the carbon fiber ovens for maintaining quality and production control.
Michael J. Graff, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc. commented: “We are pleased to partner with SGL ACF in this emerging market for new-age automotive materials.This joint venture is a substantive example of how innovative technology can drive industry and benefit the environment.”
The SGL ACF plant covers 60 acres of land and will initially operate two carbon fiber lines, each with an annual capacity of 1,500 metric tons. Construction of Air Liquide’s APSA on-site nitrogen production plant was completed and commissioned in mid-March, 2011.
Air Liquide in the U.S.
Air Liquide companies in the U.S. employ nearly 5,000 employees in over 200 locations, and offer industrial gases, equipment and related services to customers in the large industries, industrial merchant, electronics and healthcare markets.
Air Liquide is the world leader in gases for industry, health and the environment, and is present in 80 countries with 43,600 employees. Oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and rare gases have been at the core of Air Liquide’s activities since its creation in 1902. Using these molecules, Air Liquide continuously reinvents its business, anticipating the needs of current and future markets. The Group innovates to enable progress, to achieve dynamic growth and a consistent performance.
Innovative technologies that curb polluting emissions, lower industry’s energy use, recover and reuse natural resources or develop the energies of tomorrow, such as hydrogen, biofuels or photovoltaic energy… Oxygen for hospitals, homecare, fighting nosocomial infections… Air Liquide combines many products and technologies to develop valuable applications and services not only for its customers but also for society.
A partner for the long term, Air Liquide relies on employee commitment, customer trust and shareholder support to pursue its vision of sustainable, competitive growth. The diversity of Air Liquide’s teams, businesses, markets and geographic presence provides a solid and sustainable base for its development and strengthens its ability to push back its own limits, conquer new territories and build its future.
Air Liquide explores the best that air can offer to preserve life, staying true to its sustainable development approach. In 2010, the Group’s revenues amounted to €13.5 billion, of which almost 80% were generated outside France. Air Liquide is listed on the Paris Euronext stock exchange (compartment A) and is a member of the CAC 40 and Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 indexes.