BUSINESS WIRE--Airgas, Inc. (NYSE:ARG) today announced that it will build a new 450-ton-per-day liquid carbon dioxide plant at the First United Ethanol LLC, (FUEL) complex in Camilla, GA. Airgas entered into a 15-year agreement with FUEL, which will supply the feedstock of raw carbon dioxide for the Airgas facility.
“By building a new world-class facility at this destination-based ethanol plant, Airgas will better serve carbon dioxide customers in the Georgia and Florida markets,” said Division President Ted Schulte. “We currently serve customers in this region through our plant in Augusta, GA and via railcar to a depot in central Florida. This new site will create a stronger supply chain for our liquid merchant customers as well as for our own dry ice production, and it will also minimize product dislocation costs when we encounter plant outages.”
Airgas Chairman and CEO, Peter McCausland, added, “Our CO2 and Dry Ice business posted 10% organic revenue growth last quarter, and has a great outlook. This plant will further enhance our position as an industry leader in CO2 production and distribution, and the capture of CO2 from a process plant to deploy in commercial use is an environmentally responsible method of production.”
FUEL is building the first commercial ethanol plant in the Southeast U.S. and will begin operations in the fall. At the Airgas facility, the raw carbon dioxide will be refined for food, commercial and beverage-grade use. The facility eventually will employ 15 to 20 people and will be operational by late 2009.
Airgas Carbonic is the second-largest manufacturer and distributor of liquid carbon dioxide in the United States and the largest in the Southeast U.S., with six production facilities serving 19 states, primarily east of the Mississippi River. Two of its plants are the largest in North America and offer state-of-the-art production and quality control capability.
Airgas Dry Ice is the largest producer and distributor of dry ice nationwide with dry ice plants and distribution points across the U.S. Liquid carbon dioxide and dry ice are used predominantly in food service and beverage industries for freezing, chilling and in-transit applications.