Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), today announced plans to expand its atmospheric gas production capacity in New England by building a second air separation unit (ASU) in Bozrah, CT in order to meet the expected increase in demand for merchant gases across its diverse customer base in the region. The ASU, which will produce oxygen, nitrogen, and argon, will be operated by Airgas Merchant Gases and is expected to begin production in the fall of 2015. “The market for atmospheric gases is expected to continue to grow in New England, particularly in the medical, laboratory, high-tech and food industries,” said Michael L. Molinini, Airgas President and Chief Executive Officer. “Now is the right time to add to our production capabilities in order to meet the growing merchant gas needs of our current and future customers in the region.” As one of the nation's leading suppliers of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, Airgas currently produces oxygen, nitrogen, and argon through its 16 air separation units nationwide, making it the fifth largest producer of atmospheric gases in North America. The Company’s proposed plant in Bozrah will produce more than 600 tons per day of oxygen, nitrogen, and argon and will bring Airgas’ total capacity at the site to over 1,600 tons per day. The Company also purchases atmospheric gases under long-term supply contracts with other producers. “We will operate the new plant alongside our existing one in Bozrah,” said Tom Thoman, Airgas Division President – Gases Production. “This will not only substantially increase our presence in the region but also enhance the security of our supply by having dual production facilities.” According to Thoman, Airgas Merchant Gases commissioned Airgas' newest ASU in Clarksville, TN, which began producing atmospheric gases in May 2012 and is building a new ASU in Minooka, IL, which is set to be on-stream in the summer of 2015.
In addition to gases, Airgas is a leading supplier of a wide range of hardgoods, including welding equipment and related products, safety products, and tools and supplies for construction and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO).About Airgas, Inc. Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), through its subsidiaries, is one of the nation’s leading suppliers of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods, such as welding equipment and related products. Airgas is a leading U.S. producer of atmospheric gases with 16 air separation plants, a leading producer of carbon dioxide, dry ice, and nitrous oxide, one of the largest U.S. suppliers of safety products, and a leading U.S. supplier of refrigerants, ammonia products, and process chemicals. More than 15,000 employees work in approximately 1,100 locations, including branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities, and distribution centers. Airgas also markets its products and services through e-Business, catalog, and telesales channels. Its national scale and strong local presence offer a competitive edge to its diversified customer base. For more information, please visit www.airgas.com.