Airgas looks for quarter-million-dollar tax break from Guilderland IDA

GUILDERLAND — Airgas USA is asking the Guilderland Industrial Development Agency for a $240,000 sales-tax exemption for its recently-approved project in the Northeastern Industrial Park. 

The company will be before the IDA at its Nov. 23 meeting. 

Airgas is a major producer of gases used in manufacturing, food production, and health care. The company was recently approved to build a liquid argon gas storage and distribution facility inside the 550-acre industrial park, which will entail installing ten 15,000-gallon storage tanks on the site, each at a height of 46 feet, 9 inches. 

Argon is used mainly in welding, but also in electronics manufacturing. 

Argon and nitrogen, which is also proposed to be stored on-site, are inert gases, meaning they are not combustible. Argon is currently trucked into the northeastern United States, where there is a shortage of the gas, the town’s planning board was told in September. 

The argon would be distilled and liquified and shipped by rail to Guilderland, where the Airgas facility would be serviced by the existing rail line that runs through the industrial park. Many of the rail cars would be coming from the Gulf Coast — Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi — where there are large air-separation plants.

In exchange for the $240,000 exemption in sales and compensating use tax, Airgas says its new facility will create eight new jobs that pay an average of $90,000 per year — in total, two mechanic and eight truck driver $90,000-a-year jobs, the Pennsylvania-based Airgas claims. Airgas estimates the project will create 35 construction jobs with aggregate wages of $420,000. 

The estimated project cost is approximately $3.9 million of which $3.45 million is anticipated to be machinery and equipment costs, according to Airgas. 

The new facility is to be completed by July 31, 2022.


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