OUTLINE plans for an air separation plant in Alloa are to be revealed at an online public exhibition next week.

Industrial gases company Air Products is proposing to build the plant on a brownfield site adjacent to the O-I glassworks on Glasshouse Loan.

The proposed plant would separate air into oxygen, nitrogen and argon – serving not just the glassworks but also hospitals and other manufacturers in the food and beverages industry as well as in the metal and welding industries.

The plant could create 10 permanent jobs directly for ongoing operation and maintenance while the company said it will also offer intern positions and apprenticeships.

An information leaflet from the company, which owns and operates more than 300 plants in 40 countries, said: "The air we breathe is principally made up of oxygen, nitrogen and argon.

"We separate these components into high purity products in plants called air separation units (ASU).

"The purpose of these plants is to cool air to a liquid, then separate it efficiently into oxygen, nitrogen and argon, using a distillation process reminiscent of the production of whisky, but at very low temperatures.

"The only emissions to air from the plant itself will be harmless components of input air that are not required, as well as water vapour from a cooling tower."

The plans are in a 12-week pre-planning application consultation process with the virtual public meeting set to go ahead next Wednesday, July 28, from 7pm.

The company added: "At Air Products we work closely with local communities wherever we operate and are very much looking forward to being an important and constructive contributor to the success of Alloa."

On top of the direct jobs that could be created – the company said it will need up to 100 people to build the plant.

Air Products added that the location was chosen as it is a brownfield site next to one of its primary customers, other local markets are close by, there is a good electricity supply and transport links and a skilled local workforce is also available.

For more details and to attend the meeting, visit the company's website.