Airgas Opens High-tech Tooele Plant

Businesses as far away as Seattle, San Francisco, Denver and Phoenix now get air from Tooele City. Airgas, Inc., a Radnor, Pennsylvania-based supplier of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, celebrated the opening of its new 20,000-square-foot facility in Ninigret Depot on Tuesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony and tours.“Airgas is very proud to be joining the community of Tooele,” said Michael Molinini, Airgas President and CEO. “We look forward to successful partnerships with the residents, businesses and civic associations of the region for many years to come.”

The Airgas facility in Tooele will become an important part of Airgas’ supply chain, according to Molinini. Inside the Airgas Tooele facility, state-of-the-art technology will be used to blend gases, fill gas containers, and perform analysis of gases. Airgas currently employs 14 people in Tooele. That number is expected to grow to 25 in the near future, according to Thomas Thoman, Airgas division president.

An Airgas facility in Los Angeles is operating at capacity. The new Tooele facility was needed to meet the growing market for Airgas’ products in western states, according to Thoman.“The Tooele site offered us easy access to I-80 and I-15 for transportation and it is right outside of Salt Lake City, a major market for us,” he said. “Tooele also has a good workforce. State and local economic development people were great to work with, too.”

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development approved a post performance tax incentive that includes a maximum cap tax credit of $106,652 over a 10-year period. Tooele City’s Redevelopment Agency Board of Directors, which consists of the city council, approved a five-year incentive of a refund of up to 33 percent of Airgas’ property tax increment with a cap of $200,000. To receive the incentive, Airgas must make a $6.5 million capital investment in the new facility and employ at least 20 people at a wage equal to or greater then the county’s average wage. Tax increment is the amount of property tax collected above the amount currently being collected for the property where the plant will be located.