Air separation units at the Pearl GTL complex in Ras Laffan, Qatar.

Individually designed plants to meet all logistical, climate and process challenges

Customized air separation plants

Customized, multi-train air separation projects can present a number of design and delivery challenges, particularly in remote locations. Linde Engineering has the experience and expertise to master all of these. We have successfully engineered and executed most of the world’s largest air separation complexes.

Experience matters

Building on our long-standing experience in both plant engineering and operations, we custom-design mega air separation plants and state-of-the-art complexes to meet individual needs. Our purpose-built plants have been proven across the full industrial spectrum from iron and steel through chemicals and petrochemicals to energy and oil recovery.

Our air separation units (ASUs) can produce oxygen, nitrogen and argon as well as krypton/xenon and helium/neon. Daily oxygen production capacities range from 1,000 tons (30,000 Nm³/h) to 5,500 tons (165,000 Nm³/h). 

Linde employees at a gas processing plant
Pressure column sieve tray support rings at Dalian, China

Dedicated to excellence

We combine our extensive worldwide experience in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) with advanced tools and methods to ensure smooth and successful execution of even the most complex multinational/multi-partner projects. To optimize the construction process and keep costs to a minimum, we pre-fabricate and pre-assemble components to the greatest extent possible. The fact that we design and manufacture all key and proprietary cryogenic components required for ASUs in our own fabrication workshops gives our customers the added assurance that all engineering and manufacturing processes are perfectly aligned. And our efficient logistics processes and smooth organizational workflows mean we are ideally positioned to deliver on time and to the highest quality standards – anywhere in the world.

The extra mile

Customers also rate our excellent track record in quality, health, safety and environmental (QHSE) protection. We adhere to the highest standards to safeguard the health and safety of our employees and our contractors’ staff, and to protect the surrounding environment. Other factors that set us apart include our end-to-end professional support offering. Skilled commissioning teams on site ensure smooth start-up and hand-over of new and revamped plants. And even after your customized plant has gone on stream, our LINDE PLANTSERV® team is there to help. Our service portfolio includes continued operational support, operator training, maintenance and repairs, spare parts services, expert reviews, as well as plant modifications and revamps. Last but not least, we have built a rich partner ecosystem. Combined with our global procurement and fabrication capabilities, this brings maximum flexibility to your project.

Remote Operations Center (ROC)

Highlights of our customized air separation offering

With customized plants from Linde, you can rely on:

  • Vast experience in the engineering and operation of customized ASUs
  • State-of-the-art technologies and proven design for reliable operations
  • Global execution capabilities thanks to worldwide presence
  • Global sourcing and procurement capabilities for cost efficiencies
  • Professional support services over the entire lifecycle with LINDE PLANTSERV®
  • Peace of mind thanks to our excellent track record in quality, health, safety and environmental (QHSE) protection
  • High power efficiency
  • Ease of maintenance for low OPEX
Men are working at sieve tray column, Schalchen, Germany.
Delivery of world-largest cold box weighing 800 tonnes for Jamnagar, India.
Delivery of world-largest cold box weighing 800 tonnes for Jamnagar, India.

Teaming up to deliver the world's largest ASUs for Jamnagar refining complex in India

Located in Gujarat, India, the Jamnagar refining complex is home to the world's largest crude oil refinery. Now in its third expansion phase, the complex is being up-scaled so it can generate its own synthesis gas and its own energy through the gasification of petroleum coke. We supported this gasification project by delivering five of the world's largest air separation units (ASUs). 

Meeting this customization challenge entailed scaling up various plant component designs to set new performance benchmarks. Each of the five ASUs is designed for an oxygen production capacity of 5,250 tons per day (tpd). Working in close collaboration with the customer and the individual equipment manufacturers, we optimized the plant configuration, also maximizing economies of scale to increase energy efficiency.

Oxygen for mega GTL plant in Ras Laffan, Qatar

The Ras Laffan complex located in the Qatar desert is the world's largest gas to liquids (GTL) plant built to date. It currently produces 140,000 barrels of liquid fuels per day from natural gas.

The gas to liquids conversion process requires massive volumes of oxygen. The customer selected Linde as the main contractor for the air separation units (ASUs) required to supply this oxygen. Linde was responsible over the entire project lifecycle for ensuring timely completion of the turnkey air separation facility, which was gradually brought on stream exactly as planned. 

The eight identical ASUs produce 30,000 tons of oxygen every day (tpd) from the surrounding air. Each coldbox weighs 470 tons and is 60 meters high. 

Key components such as the aluminum plate-fin heat exchangers and rectification columns were manufactured at our workshops in Germany and China. We also assembled the coldboxes as packaged units at our fabrication sites. Pre-assembly minimized complex assembly and construction work in the hostile desert environment.  

Air separation units at the Pearl GTL complex in Ras Laffan, Qatar
Air separation units at the Pearl GTL complex in Ras Laffan, Qatar
Engineering masterpiece near Yinchuan City in China
Air separation units near Yinchuan City, China.

Engineering masterpiece near Yinchuan City in China

Building on experience gained from other world-class projects such as the Pearl GTL complex in Qatar, our six-train air separation facility near Yinchuan City in the mid-west of China is another feat of customized engineering. Designed for reliable, cost-effective gas supplies, the complex has a capacity of 21,600 tonnes of oxygen per day (tpd). Despite the remote location of Yinchuan City, we were able to rely on our global and local partner ecosystem to ensure seamless project delivery.  

Our engineering centers in Pullach (Germany) and Hangzhou (China) as well as our production sites in Schalchen (Germany) and Dalian (China) all contributed to the success of this project. Thanks to this collaborative effort, we completed the six rectification coldboxes – which required more than 2,000 tons of steel structure – in record time.

Cooperating to more than double recovery rates at the Cantarell oil field in Mexico

The Cantarell oil field in the Gulf of Mexico is home to another one of our customization highlights. Here we built the world’s largest nitrogen facility to enhance recovery rates from the oil field. 

One of the world’s biggest, the field is located around 100 kilometers off shore. The operator was keen to boost dwindling recovery rates through enhanced oil recovery (EOR). EOR entails injecting nitrogen into a gas reservoir at high pressure and this requires a steady stream of the gas.  

We built a customized land-based nitrogen complex for this project. Consisting of five air separation units (ASUs), this is the largest nitrogen facility in the world. Each ASU produces high-pressure nitrogen at a rate of 10,000 tons per day (tpd).  

Located in a remote area, this standalone complex does not require third-party utilities. It produces its own power with five large gas turbines using an advanced seawater cooling system.  

The nitrogen is transported at high pressure around 100 kilometers from the onshore ASUs to the offshore oil field via 36-inch pipelines. By injecting the nitrogen into the reservoir, the field operator has at times succeeded in increasing flow rates from 1 million to 2.2 million barrels a day. These positive results prompted the operator to extend its supply agreement with us. Neighboring oil fields also source nitrogen from the Cantarell air separation complex to similarly increase their yield. 

Air separation unit at Cantarell, Mexico
Air separation unit at Cantarell, Mexico.
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