Air Products has said that China's first air separation unit (ASU) facility that uses liquefied natural gas (LNG) cold energy to produce industrial gases has been brought onstream.

Located in Putian, the plant is a joint venture with China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Energy Technology & Services and will produce over 600 tons per day of liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon to supply the industrial gases market in Fujian Province, especially in the Xiamen, Putian, Fuzhou triangle.

Air Products formed the joint venture in 2007 with CNOOC Energy Technology & Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of state-owned CNOOC.

The ASU plant is designed to liquefy air at low temperatures by using cold energy released during the LNG re-gasification process to produce industrial gas products.

The chilled glycol displaces the cooling water utility previously used for air compression in the ASU plant, thereby also conserving water resources.