MIDLOTHIAN — Covering the Earth in a layer over 400 miles high, the air we breathe provides for the beautiful world around us. From plants photosynthesizing in spring to a heart inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, air is extremely vital to living. It is also essential to Midlothian’s own Air Products, an industrial gases company that specializes in atmospheric and specialty gases and equipment.

“Our raw material is the air we breathe, and we separate it into components, we liquefy it within these storage tanks, and we truck it out to our customers. Think of a truck as a large thermos bottle and it goes out to our customers,” said Gary Aughinbaugh, Midlothian’s Air Products Site Manager.

Experiencing steady growth in the City of Midlothian beginning in 1982, Air Products opened its first air separation plant. Due to increased customer demand, the company built a second air separation plant at the site in 1995 and most recently installed the new cooling tower to help boost the plant’s efficiency and production. Employing 28 people, Air Products produces industrial gases that are used in a variety of applications, including electronics, medical, metals, oilfield services, and food freezing.

Last Wednesday, Jan. 25, Air Products held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for an updated cooling tower that was recently installed. In addition to the installation, the company also surprised the Midlothian Fire and Police Departments with a generous gift, giving back to the community that serves and protects.

“It’s two-fold. We’re having a ribbon cutting for a new piece of equipment we replaced. The second piece is that we’re making a $10,000 donation to the fire department and the police department,” Aughinbaugh added.

Joined by representatives of onsite steel company Gerdau, Midlothian Chamber of Commerce members, and representatives from the Midlothian Fire and Police departments helped celebrate Air Products’ success and commitment of continued operations in Midlothian.

“We are proud to have strong roots in Midlothian and many other communities throughout Texas, and we are committed to working closely with local organizations like the Chamber and Economic Development group to sustain growth and contribute to shared goals,” said Francesco Maione, Vice President of Industrial Gases for the Southern Region‒Americas at Air Products.

Immediately following the ribbon-cutting, Maione and Aughinbaugh presented the $5,000 checks to both the Midlothian Fire and Police departments, to which both groups were pleasantly surprised.

“We believe the stronger the local community, the stronger and more stable the platform from which we can successfully run and expand our business,” Maione added.