Hydrogen Boom in the Oil Sands
15 June 2006
|The new 71 MMSCFD hydrogen plant in Alberta. Photo: Air Products and Chemicals|
Air Products Canada Ltd. celebrated the commercialization of its first hydrogen production facility to serve the Canadian refining industry with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today in Strathcona County near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Air Products’s new 71-million standard-cubic-feet-per-day (MMSCFD) hydrogen production plant serves the Petro-Canada and Imperial Oil refineries, and other customers in the local area. This is the first of three hydrogen plants Air Products will have operating in Canada by 2008.
These will also be the first on-purpose production facilities to provide long-term hydrogen supply to Canadian refineries. The Alberta Industrial Heartland is one of three key Canadian refining centers and an area that will continue to grow in hydrogen demand as more oil sands crude is processed.—Steve Losby, general manager for Air Products’s Energy and Process Industries Division-Canada
Hydrogen is used to upgrade bitumen and heavier crude feedstocks into cleaner transportation fuels and other products.
The Air Products plant, a natural gas-based steam methane reformer, is located adjacent to the Petro-Canada Edmonton Refinery and will also supply other customers in the area by pipeline. The supply arrangement is one of over 25 that Air Products has undertaken with refiners worldwide.
Additionally, Air Products has commenced engineering to expand production capacity at the facility through construction of a second hydrogen plant at the same location.
Announced in January 2006, the 105 MMSCFD facility expansion will serve several customers in the Alberta Industrial Heartlands corridor along with the Petro-Canada refinery. This plant will be the first Air Products facility to provide the sale of hydrogen for use in the processing of Canadian oil sands into gasoline and diesel fuel. It is expected on-stream in April 2008.
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