Praxair, Inc. announced the start-up of its 135 million standard cubic feet per day (scfd) hydrogen plant serving the Valero refinery Port Arthur, Texas and other customers. The new plant houses the largest steam methane reformer (SMR) Praxair has built to date to supply hydrogen and up to 450,000 pounds per hour of steam to Valero’s new 57,000 barrels-per-day hydrocracker.
Hydrocrackers are used to break down hydrocarbon molecules in heavier crude oil to produce premium transportation fuels, such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels, that burn cleaner. The process produces 1.2 barrels of high-value, low-sulfur products for each barrel of high-sulfur feedstock.
The new Port Arthur SMR is connected to Praxair’s existing 750 million scfd Gulf Coast pipeline network. The network includes a unique 2.5 billion scf high-purity hydrogen storage cavern that provides additional supply reliability for Praxair customers along the pipeline. The US Gulf Coast is the largest oil refining and petrochemical producing region in the world.
Praxair operates more than 50 hydrogen production facilities and seven hydrogen pipeline systems globally. Refinery customers worldwide benefit from Praxair’s complete portfolio of large-volume industrial gases, cylinder gases and specialized refinery technologies and services.