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Industrial gas giant Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (APD - Analyst Report) announced that its Air Separation Unit (ASU) technology is now being used at the world’s largest pressure oxidation (POX) gold production facility in Pueblo Viejo, Dominican Republic. Air Products teamed with Hatch Ltd and Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corporation (PVDC) for the sale of equipment.

The collaboration designed a plant by combining Air Products’ two 2,000 ton per day (TPD) cryogenic oxygen units to fulfill the complex operating needs of PVDC's advanced pressure oxidation technology used for gold extraction at the facility. The integrated 4,000 TPD oxygen units will act as the largest single-site oxygen requirement plant for POX application. This marks the second set of oxygen plants which the company has supplied into the Dominican Republic over the last few years for gold extraction.

Apart from the equipment sale, Air Products also provided training to the PVDC operations team through its Customer Plant Support after-market services group.

PVDC is a joint venture between Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX - Analyst Report) and Goldcorp Inc (GG - Analyst Report). Barrick holds a 60% ownership of PVDC with Goldcorp owning the remaining 40% stake. Air Products worked with Hatch as a subcontractor and Barrick in the design, building and commissioning of the facility's equipment. The Pueblo Viejo site has a potential gold reserve of over 25 million ounces and a projected mine life of more than 30 years.

Air Products’ products and services strategically focus to meet the needs of the mining industry. The company’s wide range of products and services includes industrial gases supply, operating and maintenance services for gases plants, merchant gas supply where available, and amines for flotation requirements.

Currently, Air Products owns and operates over 300 air separation plants in over 40 countries globally. The company also sold, designed, and built more than 2,000 air separation plants worldwide.

Air Products retains a short-term (1 to 3 months) Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Another company in the chemical industry worth considering is Akzo Nobel NV (AKZOY), which retains a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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