Update: The Casa Grande Planning and Zoning Commission voted to the conditional use permit for the proposed Air Products and Chemicals Inc. facility at its meeting on Feb. 3.
Original story: Air Products and Chemicals Inc., a Pennsylvania-based gases and chemicals manufacturer, is seeking to build a facility in Casa Grande, where it could produce low carbon intensity liquid hydrogen and other gases for the clean fuel transportation industry.
The proposed facility would allow Air Products to supply the low carbon intensity hydrogen to power cars, buses and trucks, according to city documents. The Casa Grande site, which is owned by Lester Vernon Barnes, totals 40 acres near Peters and Burris roads, according to documents submitted by Ralph Pew of Pew & Lake, attorney for the project. The site is currently vacant, agricultural land. The company is requesting to build structures reaching up to 106 feet in height.
“Efficiencies created by establishing this new hub for clean energy delivery may serve to entice manufacturing and delivery facilities to Casa Grande and the greater Southwest region,” city documents said. The company would use the Casa Grande facility to sell to existing users in the Phoenix area, which would relieve supply chain issues for the company’s other facilities.
Air Products already has a facility in Chandler, which it has operated since 1979. According to city documents, Air Products is the world’s largest supplier of hydrogen, with operations in 50 countries. At the Casa Grande facility, the company will split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, and the hydrogen will be liquified for transportation and the oxygen is released back into the atmosphere.
Although city documents do not mention the use of the company’s products in semiconductor production, Air Products does supply various semiconductor and electronics manufacturers, including South Korea-based Samsung Electronics and China-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation. Tempe-based Versum Materials, which is now a subsidiary of Merck Group, was a corporate spinoff of Air Products & Chemicals.
Air Products didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the proposed Casa Grande facility.
Casa Grande is already home of the manufacturing facility for Lucid Motors, an electric vehicle company. Also in Pinal County, Nikola Corp. plans to manufacture trucks that will be powered by hydrogen electric fuel cells.
Also, Casa Grande has become a popular landing spot for manufacturers, especially those related to the semiconductor industry. Both Chang Chun Group and LCY Chemical have bought sites in Casa Grande, and Kanto Corp. has also indicated plans for a Casa Grande facility.
The Casa Grande Planning and Zoning Commission will hear the plans for Air Products’ facility at its meeting Thursday evening.
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