Specialty gas distributor Airgas (UNKNOWN:ARG.DL) announced it will build a new 450 ton-per-day liquid carbon dioxide plant to replace its plant at the Shell Deer Park Refinery complex that is expected to close later this year. Construction is expected to begin soon, and will be completed by the fall, as many of the existing assets from the current facility -- such as storage tanks, truck loading equipment, scales, and analytical equipment -- will be repurposed at the new plant.

Feedstock of raw carbon dioxide for the new facility will be provided through long-term supply agreements that Airgas signed with affiliates of Denbury Resources. The two companies have a decade-long relationship going back to 2001, when Airgas sold its Jackson Dome reserves, and the associated 183-mile pipeline in Mississippi, to Denbury. 

The new facility will supply carbon dioxide to existing and new customers in the petrochemical industry, as well as traditional food chilling and beverage carbonation industries. Airgas currently operates 11 liquid carbon dioxide plants, and 52 dry ice facilities, supplying customers in industries ranging from chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and biotech, to food processing, food service, and beverages.