DANBURY, Conn., May 20, 2003 — Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) today announced the completion of a new multi-million dollar plant to supply industrial, medical and specialty packaged gases to customers in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The state-of-the-art plant employs 50 persons and features automated filling of gas cylinders across a broad range of such products as helium, breathing air, medical oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide. The 34,000 square foot facility replaces an older, less efficient plant in South San Francisco built more than fifty years ago, and a specialty gases plant in San Carlos.
“The greater San Francisco Bay Area is a very significant and growing geography for us,” said James Baughman, Central California Division General Manager for Praxair Distribution, Inc., a subsidiary of Praxair, Inc. “This is a very large facility for the industrial, medical and specialty gases businesses, which are characterized by a unique customer mix of very large and also extremely small businesses, each of whom requires a dependable source of quality gas products delivered to their doors.”
Baughman mentioned an important feature of the plant is the accuracy of the automated cylinder filling system and the high quality of blended and pure gases it offers. “The large size of the plant will provide Praxair with significant economies of scale, as well as the ability to supply gases up to and including high-end specialty gases to the electronics industry,” said Baughman.
The Pittsburg plant reflects a very high level of automation and is designed as a lean manufacturing facility, which means there is very little inventory. The spacious layout enhances work flow by eliminating bottlenecks, reducing waste and wasted motion, and reducing employee exposure to potential workplace hazards.
The Pittsburg plant will allow Praxair to more fully participate in the future growth of the Bay Area, according to Praxair Distribution President Wayne Yakich. “In today’s business environment, customers are demanding top quality and flawless service on a sustained basis. As a result, every employee in our business is on the front lines. We’re counting on everyone to help us respond to the high-technology needs of customers in this growing market with a wide range of quality gas capabilities and products,” Yakich said.
Praxair Distribution, Inc. and its subsidiaries and distributors deliver a large array of industrial and specialty gases, equipment and supplies, technical expertise, and services to thousands of customers in the United States and Canada. With hundreds of locations throughout North America, Praxair provides differentiated product and service offerings that help customers achieve their objectives faster, better and at lower total cost.
Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2002 sales of $5.1 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com.