Preperations for construction of Air Products’ R300m ASU plant to start in June

Idéle Esterhuizen | 16 April 2013 | Engineering News

Site clearance and preparation for the construction of industrial gas supply company Air Products’ R300-million air separation unit (ASU) in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) would start in June, with construction and commissioning scheduled for completion by the third quarter of 2014.

In December last year, the company announced that it would construct an ASU, the first of its kind in the province. Air Products area sales manager Pierre Fourie said the investment was in response to the industrial growth and opportunities that were apparent in the Eastern Cape.

“We are claiming a stake in the Eastern Cape’s industrial future and opening doors for future investment in the region. We want to offer a differentiated service to industry in Port Elizabeth by offering the full bouquet of gas supply offerings to the Port Elizabeth market,” he added.

Fourie said the area had long been in need of industrial gas suppliers, the lack of which had, until now, hampered local business’ growth, direct investment, employment and infrastructure. Currently, there was no local industrial gas supply in the Eastern Cape and process gases were sourced from Mossel Bay, Cape Town and Gauteng.

“The Eastern Cape has enormous [growth] potential and should be seen as a viable destination for investment in production and manufacturing,” Fourie stated, adding that Air Products was working on various projects and investments throughout the Southern African region.

He added that, in striving to secure supply, the company had turned its focus to capacity expansion opportunities in various locations throughout South Africa; however, in strategic areas where markets did not warrant a similar investment, storage considerations and additional capacity have been implemented.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn