CAHOKIA, Illinois, June 12 — Praxair Distribution Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Praxair Inc. (NYSE: PX), announced today that it will permanently relocate its industrial gases distribution facility, formerly located on Chouteau Avenue in St. Louis, to an existing company property on Judith Lane in Cahokia, Illinois.
"Praxair has been warmly welcomed to Illinois by the state and local authorities and it is our intention to renovate and expand the facility and add a small number of new jobs in the future," said Wayne Yakich, president of Praxair Distribution Inc. "We are also pleased to continue our good relationships with the City of Cahokia and St. Clair County where we’ve had business activities for the last 15 years."
"We have sought and obtained all required permits and approvals for the development of this facility and we will be installing similar security systems to those we had in place in St. Louis," Yakich added. "Since June last year, this site has been operating as a temporary facility to serve our customers in this region."
Praxair acquired the Cahokia facility in 1991 for use as a warehouse, store and distribution center for cylinder gases in Illinois and Missouri. It closed this site down when it established its larger facility in St. Louis in 1999.
"Praxair will have 60 employees in Cahokia when it is fully operational in 12-18 months," Yakich said. "We also plan to invest approximately $3.5 million in renovating and upgrading the facility during this time."
The Cahokia facility will serve essentially the same customer base in Illinois and the greater St. Louis area as the previous facility on Chouteau Avenue. No industrial gases will be produced at the site.
Gases will be delivered in bulk to the site and put into cylinders for delivery to a wide variety of customers, including hospitals, research facilities, universities, small and large manufacturing companies, construction businesses, restaurants and bars, and hobbyists.
Products packaged at the plant will include oxygen for medical and industrial uses; acetylene for welding and brazing; nitrogen for food freezing; argon for welding; specialty gases for laboratory instrument calibration. Other gases, such as propane, which is used in backyard grills, and propylene, which is used for cutting steel, will also be stored at this facility.
Praxair Distribution, Inc. and its subsidiaries and distributors deliver a wide array of industrial and specialty gases, equipment and supplies, technical expertise, and services to thousands of customers in the United States and Canada.
Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2005 sales of $7.7 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.
Susan Szita Gore