Murray Hill & New Providence, New Jersey, U.S., January 12, 2011 – Linde Gas North America and Air Products (NYSE:APD) today announced they have formed Hydrochlor, a 50-50 joint venture to supply high purity anhydrous hydrochloric acid (HCl) to the electronics and other industries.
As part of the agreement, Hydrochlor will build a facility to process and package HCl supplied via pipeline from The Dow Chemical Company. The new facility will be located on Dow’s Freeport, Texas, site. Oversight for Hydrochlor will be governed by a team of managers from each partner company. The facility, scheduled to be commissioned in the second quarter of 2012, will meet current merchant requirements and can be expanded to serve growth in market demand.
Hydrochlor will sell HCl exclusively to the joint venture partners, who will continue to market HCl independently. Until the new facility’s startup, Dow will continue to supply HCl independently to Linde at its Lovington, New Mexico, facility and to Air Products at its Hometown, Pennsylvania, location.
“This is an important development for our customers,” said Cliff Caldwell, vice president of Electronics and Specialty Gases for Linde North America. “There have been concerns regarding the continuity of supply for high purity HCl into the merchant market for some time. This new production and filling plant will finally put these concerns to rest. When completed, the Freeport facility will be the largest HCl production plant in the country and will allow Linde to continue supplying critical high-purity HCl to its U.S. and international customers.”
“This significant investment in Hydrochlor secures a vital domestic supply of high-purity HCl for a variety of end markets,” said Corning Painter, vice president and general manager of Electronics for Air Products. “The Hydrochlor agreement is another example of Air Products’ commitment to ensuring surety of supply of critical materials to our customers.”
HCl is a key raw material used by semiconductor manufacturers for cleaning reactors used in the epitaxial process and also is used for chamber cleaning. A majority of North American merchant HCl is supplied to the pharmaceuticals and agricultural industries. HCl also is used as a chemical intermediate in the manufacture of inorganic chlorides.
The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with almost 48,000 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2009 financial year it achieved sales of EUR 11.2 billion (USD 15.3 billion). The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services.
Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.
For more information, visit Linde North America online at http://www.lindeus.com
Linde Corporate Communications
Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. In fiscal 2010, Air Products had revenues of $9 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and 18,300 employees around the globe. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
***NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company’s Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2010.
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