The Industrial Gases sector services a growing number of industry sectors including metals, the oil and gas industry, LNG, solar, chemicals, manufacturing, medical, electronics, transportation, glass and food. The industry has evolved to include the supply of a wide variety of gases ranging from oxygen, nitrogen, argon, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and helium to chemical gases such as acetylene, ethylene oxide, and nitrous oxide. Industrial gas suppliers now also supply a variety of exotic gases and provide specialty gases with ever higher levels of purity.
Companies directly involved in the supply of industrial gases range from large multinational companies producing a variety of gases on a global scale to small and medium sized gas suppliers focused on regions, product types, and end-markets. The industries supply includes equipment manufacturers who supply storage vessels, portable tanks, vaporizers, pumps and associated processing and handling equipment, as well as companies who construct and service plants. The US has seen significant investment in industrial gas supply driven by the petrochemical industry in recent years. However, as petrochemical construction declines, new growth will be driven by other industries. Food grade growth may lead the way, as company’s look to meet consumers’ demand for preservative reduction, without compromising supply chains. As the country’s growing industrial gases infrastructure continues to age, companies that repair, service, and allow producers to increase efficiency are growing in importance. The industrial gas industry remains one of the most capital-intensive sub-sectors of the chemical industry. Transportation and distribution of industrial gases is typically expensive as the physical properties of industrial gases often require specialized shipping containers, including in some cases the need for refrigeration. The industry will likely continue to see continued investment, albeit with a focus on lower volume, more specialized end markets, and initiatives to increase efficiency and quality with a focus on profitability.