Atmospheric and Specialty gases company, Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (APD) recently opened its new specialty amines plant in Nanjing, China. The facility complements its existing local capabilities to support customers in the growing polyurethane additives and epoxy markets.

The new specialty amines plant is designed to manufacture many of the amine chemistries marketed by the business globally. Air Products already operates two large air separation plants. Air Products focuses on China for growth as the country seems to be having a strong and potential market as well as industries, such as construction, coatings and automobile production.
The new plant has significantly strengthened the supply chain capabilities of Air Products’ Performance Materials business in China and throughout Asia. Other strategic capabilities that the company has built for its Performance Materials business include a technology center in Shanghai’s Zhangjiang Industrial Park, a triethylenediamine manufacturing facility for polyurethane additives in Changzhou, warehouses in Changzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Nanjing.

The plant has also enhanced Air Products’ ability to supply differentiated products. The initial focus will be on several performance-oriented products marketed by Air Products’ epoxy additive and polyurethane additive product lines, including the Polycat and Dabco series of amine catalysts, and Ancamine, Ancamide and Sunmide series of epoxy curing agents used in diverse industries, such as coatings, inks, adhesives, construction, appliance and automotive.

This apart, Air Products also plans to build a new world-scale air separation unit (ASU) at its La Porte, Texas industrial gases facility. The energy efficient ASU will replace older assets at the site and provide benefits to customers through higher-reliability pipeline of oxygen and nitrogen supply, and enhanced production of merchant and electronics products including argon and xenon. The new ASU is to be on-stream in October 2011.

The ASU at La Porte will serve customers across Air Products’ three major business areas of Tonnage Gases, Merchant Gases and Electronics and increase supply security and reliability. The company expects the ASU to deliver significant productivity gains through decreased energy consumption and operating costs.

Air Products also plans to purchase and operate four existing air separation units to supply industrial gases to Xingtai Iron and Steel Corp., Ltd., one of China’s largest specialty steel manufacturers located in Hebei province, China. Air Products is the second largest industrial gas supplier in North America and the fourth largest in the world. The company serves customers in the industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide.

Read the full analyst report on “APD”
Zacks Investment Research