As Big River Steel commences its expansion it can be sure that all the elements will be in place.
On Monday, Air Products, an industrial gas company, announced an agreement to build, own and operate a second air separation unit (ASU) that will support expansion of Big River Steel's plant in Osceola.
Air Products has supplied Big River Steel with oxygen, nitrogen and argon — elements vital to producing steel — since opening its first ASU in 2016, when Big River Steel began production.
The new unit is scheduled to begin operating in January of 2021 and will also provide oxygen, nitrogen and argon to the merchant market. Air Products and Big River Steel also extended by several years their long-term industrial gas supply contract.
Financial terms of the project were not disclosed.
In June of last year, Big River Steel announced a $1.2 billion expansion of its scrap recycling and steel production facility in Osceola. The project will double the company’s hot-rolled steel production capacity to 3.3 million tons annually and create around 500 jobs.
The new ASU will be capable of producing more than 250 tons per day of oxygen and other liquid products, which will be a plus for Air Products' liquid bulk business that caters to a growing merchant market, as well as being a plus for Big River Steel.
"Big River Steel is pleased with Air Products' performance and I look forward to expanding our relationship as Big River Steel doubles its steel making capacity," said company CEO David Stickler in a statement.
Air Products, headquartered in Pennsylvania, has been in operation for 75 years and provides gases and equipment to industries that include refining, metals, chemicals, manufacturing, food and beverage and electronics.
With more than 300 plants in more than 40 countries, Air Products saw sales of $8.9 billion in 2018.
"One of our core company goals is to provide excellent customer service and we believe that a second ASU and contract extension with Big River is a good indication we are meeting that goal," said Marie Ffolkes, president, Americas, at Air Products.