Air Products to supply additional hydrogen for two Gulf Coast Valero refineries; proposed new SMR facility
Air Products will supply a combined additional supply of more than 200 million standard cubic feet per day of hydrogen for Valero’s refineries in St. Charles, Louisiana and Port Arthur, Texas. As part of this award, Air Products has also proposed development of a new world-scale steam methane reformer (SMR) hydrogen production facility to be located in St. Charles, which is to be onstream during the second half of 2013.
The facility would be connected to Air Products’ industry-leading Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline supply network, which supplies multiple refinery and petrochemical companies in the region.
We already provide hydrogen to help meet their product demands with our two steam methane reformer hydrogen production facilities in Port Arthur. This proposed new hydrogen facility would help to serve Valero’s St. Charles and Port Arthur locations, and also help to meet additional demands of customers on the Air Products pipeline system. The facility will be connected to our Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline network, which increases product supply reliability, and provides flexibility to meet increased hydrogen needs through the largest hydrogen pipeline network in the Gulf Coast.—Wilbur Mok, vice president–North America Tonnage Gases at Air Products
Air Products has been supplying hydrogen via pipeline to Valero’s St Charles refinery since 1997 and also to Port Arthur since 1996. Valero’s hydrogen demand is increasing at both facilities with the expansion of its hydrocracking capacity.
Air Products is working toward increasing its hydrogen pipeline supply capability in the Gulf Coast to make it the world’s largest hydrogen pipeline network. Air Products announced plans to construct a new 180-mile-long pipeline in 2010. The new pipeline extension, which is in the project execution phase, will connect Air Products’ Texas hydrogen system to the Louisiana hydrogen system. Once complete, Air Products’ hydrogen pipeline supply network will stretch from the Houston Ship Channel in Texas to New Orleans, creating the world’s largest hydrogen plant and pipeline supply network.
This integrated pipeline system will unite over 20 hydrogen plants and over 600 miles of pipelines. It will supply the Louisiana and Texas refinery and petrochemical industries with more than 1.2 billion cubic feet of hydrogen per day. The new Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline network is expected to be operational in 2012.
In addition to the Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline system, Air Products also has hydrogen pipeline networks operating around the world in the US in Southern California; in Canada in Sarnia, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta; and in The Netherlands in Rotterdam.
The proposed St. Charles hydrogen facility would be built through the global hydrogen alliance between Air Products and Technip. The enhanced SMR design targets optimal heat integration and minimal loss of heat to the environment, which in turn lowers natural gas feedstock consumption.
The Air Products and Technip worldwide alliance has built more than 30 hydrogen production facilities. Technip provides the design and construction expertise for steam reformers while Air Products provides the gas separation technology.
Hydrogen is widely used in petroleum refining processes to remove impurities found in crude oil such as sulfur, olefins and aromatics for meeting the product fuels specifications. Removing these components allows gasoline and diesel to burn cleaner and thus makes hydrogen a critical component in the production of cleaner fuels.