Air separation plant to be built in Lewisville

Ground is to be broken next week for a facility in southwest Arkansas that will produce liquid oxygen and nitrogen for area industries, Linde North America announced Thursday.

The plant will be on 26 acres in Lewisville and will employ 24 people, the company said.

The liquid nitrogen and oxygen will be supplied to industries in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, where Linde said demand is increasing.

“When completed, the plant will bring product closer to our customers so we can improve their supply security and reduce Linde’s carbon footprint,” Linde North America President Pat Murphy said.

The plant will have the capacity to produce 470 tons per day and will sell to food processors, metal fabricators, health care providers and other industries.

The company didn’t disclose how much it will spend to build the facility.

Linde North America is a subsidiary of Munich, Germany-based The Linde Group.

The company said the plant will be designed with technology that enables limited electricity use to produce the gases. The company said the Lewisville location will save fuel because it is near the plant’s customers. The gasses will be delivered by truck.

The Arkansas Department of Economic Development has committed $350,000 for road improvements. The company can also apply for a performance-based incentive that provides sales and use tax credits to companies that invest $5 million or more in plant equipment or new construction.

The plant will have the capacity to produce 470 tons per day and will sell to food processors, metal fabricators, health care providers and other industries.

Groundbreaking is set for Wednesday and production is projected to start in late 2013.

Lewisville has a population of 1,280 and a poverty rate of 21 percent, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. It sits in Lafayette County, which has 7,500 people and a 20 percent poverty rate. The state poverty rate is 18 percent.

The Linde Group has 51,000 employees in more than 100 countries. Linde had 2011 revenues of $18.1 billion.

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