Super loads coming through Lakeway to Kingsport plant

An oversized load comes up U.S. Highway 25E on its way to a Kingsport facility.

Super loads, making their way from Knoxville through the Lakeway Area, are bound for Air Products, Inc. and Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport.

Air Products has been supplying Eastman in Kingsport since 1983, when Eastman started up the first coal gasification facility in the United States to produce chemicals from syngas.

Eastman’s Kingsport facility is one of the largest chemical facilities in North America.

According to Tennessee Department of Transportation Community Relations Officer Mark Nagi, there are and have been several moves scheduled for the month of May in East Tennessee.

Many of those loads have come from Knoxvile via U.S. 11E to State Highway 160, to U.S. Highway 25E to Exit 2 at Morris Boulevard, back onto two-lane U.S. 11E where it becomes four-lanes at I-81 Exit 23.

The caravan continues on U.S. 11E through Johnson City to I-81 to Kingsport.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has assisted with the transport, according to Nagi.

In a press release in 2018, Air Products announced it would build, own and operate two air separation units to provide oxygen and nitrogen to Eastman’s facility in Kingsport, Tennessee under new long-term agreements. The ASUs are targeted to be onstream in early 2021.

The units being constructed will replace Air Products’ 35-year-old ASUs operating at the Kingsport facility. The new ASUs will continue to serve Air Products’ established merchant customer base and growing merchant markets including metals processing, medical, chemicals and food with liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen and liquid argon.

“Eastman has been a customer for three-and-a-half decades and we are thrilled to extend this relationship with new long-term agreements. We strive daily to provide excellent customer service and we believe this extended relationship is a demonstration of that effort. The new facilities will serve Eastman for years to come and will also allow Air Products to supply its current merchant industrial gas customers and build its merchant market client base with additional liquid product capacity,” said Marie Ffolkes, Air Products’ President-Americas.

The new ASUs will provide Eastman with a long-term reliable supply of oxygen and nitrogen for their gasification process and chemicals operations.