Praxair Expands Gulf Coast Hydrogen Supply Capabilities
June 06, 2011
New Long-Term Supply Agreements with Valero in Port Arthur, TX and St Charles, LA Refineries
DANBURY, Conn., June 6, 2011 — Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) is expanding its hydrogen capacity in Texas and Louisiana and extending its Mississippi River corridor hydrogen pipeline system under long-term supply agreements for 270 million standard cubic feet per day (scfd) with Valero Energy Corporation.
In Louisiana, Praxair is installing a new, world-class 135 million scfd hydrogen plant at Valero’s St. Charles refinery. Under a long-term agreement, Valero will consume 120 million scfd of hydrogen and approximately 400,000 pounds per hour of steam at its new 50,000 barrels-per-day hydrocracker. Start-up is expected in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Praxair is extending its Louisiana pipeline by 50 miles, connecting the new hydrogen plant in St. Charles to Praxair’s existing complex in Geismar, Louisiana. The pipeline extension is scheduled to be in operation by the second quarter of 2012.
The new facilities will allow Praxair to supply other customers in Louisiana, providing a hydrogen supply alternative to refineries and chemical plants located in the lower Mississippi River corridor.
“These projects represent a significant investment in supply for our customers in the lower Mississippi River corridor as they upgrade and expand their own production capabilities,” said Mike Jordan, vice president, South Region, for Praxair’s North American Industrial Gases business unit. “They put the southern Louisiana region in a position similar to Texas in terms of competitive hydrogen supply alternatives.”
Additionally, Praxair is installing a new 135 million scfd hydrogen plant at Valero’s Port Arthur, Texas, refinery. Plant start-up is scheduled for the first quarter of 2013. Under the new contracts, Praxair will supply 150 million scfd of hydrogen and approximately 200,000 pounds per hour of steam to Valero’s 50,000 barrels-per-day hydrocracker. Hydrogen will be supplied from the new plant in conjunction with Praxair’s one billion scfd pipeline and storage complex.
Hydrogen is used by petroleum refiners to produce ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuels. Demand for ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel continues to increase in order to comply with environmental regulations.
Worldwide, Praxair operates 40 hydrogen production facilities and seven hydrogen pipeline systems. Refinery customers worldwide benefit from Praxair’s complete portfolio of large-volume industrial gases, cylinder gases and specialized refinery technologies and services.
Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2010 sales of $10 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a diverse group of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, electronics, energy, food and beverage, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com.