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Praxair to Boost Capacity in Antwerp

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Industrial gas producer and supplier, Praxair Inc. (PX - Free Report) is all set to enhance capacity in the Port of Antwerp, a move expected to benefit the company over the long run. The Port of Antwerp is the world’s second largest petrochemical enclave after Houston, Texas.

Praxair plans to build its second air separation plant in the region with daily capacity of 1,300 tons. In addition, the company will also work to extend its pipeline system in the port. The operations at the plant are expected to commence by early 2016.    

This move will increase Praxair’s oxygen and nitrogen capacity and will place the company in an advantageous position among customers seeking long-term supply. In addition, the new plant will produce liquid oxygen, nitrogen and argon.

A series of plant start-ups and contract wins signifies the growing preferences among customers for Praxair’s world class technology, high quality products and gas supply services. Moreover, its products are being increasingly used for various purposes across various industries, including hydrogen for refining; oxygen for healthcare; and nitrogen and carbon dioxide for oil and gas production.

Praxair is slated to release its second-quarter 2013 financial results on Jul 24. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the second quarter of 2013 is $1.49, up 4.7% year over year. For full year 2013 and 2014, the estimates are pegged at $5.98 and $6.78, reflecting annual growth of 7.3% and 6.8%, respectively.

Praxair has a market capitalization of roughly $34.4 billion. The stock currently bears a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks to watch out for in the industry are Methanex Corporation (MEOH - Free Report) , Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. (SHECY - Free Report) and FMC Corp. (FMC - Free Report) . Of these, Methanex and Shin-Etsu carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while FMC has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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