The Air Products facility in Port Manatee held something of a moving party on February 4th.
It was then that a liquefied natural gas heat exchanger assembled at its facilities officially hit the road, heading for Sabine Pass in Port Arthur, Texas. It is one of three identical interchanges supplied by Air Products, with the next scheduled to leave Port Manatee in March. Officially known as the main cryogenic liquefied natural gas heat exchanger, it is a massive machine that unlocks natural gas through a process of cryogenic liquefaction. This, in turn, makes it economically feasible to ship the gas around the world.
The one that left Port Manatee on February 4 is 173 feet long and weighed 745,500 pounds, or 372.75 tons. That weight, according to company officials, rises to 1.2 million pounds, or 599.7 tons, taking into account saddles, beams and the SPMT – self-propelled modular transport platform vehicle – used for cross the road.
Air Products currently has 280 people working in three shifts at its Port Manatee plant, company officials said, with 15 production technology positions open.