Air Products, a diversified supplier of gases and chemicals, and a heavy-duty equipment manufacturer based in Allentown, Pa., has opened a 3000,000-square foot factory adjacent to Port Manatee on the Florida Gulf Coast to manufacturer heat exchangers for liquefied natural gas plants.
Heat exchangers, which can reach 15 feet wide, 180 feet long and weigh up to 500 tons, are used to liquefy natural gas so it can be shipped around the world in vessels.
Air Products said the easy access to Port Manatee will facilitate shipping of the bulk equipment and make it possible to make even larger pieces now in demand by LNG processing plants. It said it faces constraints that can add weeks to the delivery schedule when shipping from its other manufacturing plant in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
At a dedication ceremony earlier this month, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the state's recent decision to remove the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment helped attract Air Products to Florida.
The facility will start with 50 employees and is expected to have 250 within four years, the company said.