Praxair on Monday started up its new 135 million
standard cubic feet/day (scfd) hydrogen plant serving the
Valero refinery in Port Arthur, Texas,
as well as other regional customers.
The new plant houses the largest steam methane reformer
(SMR) built by Praxair to date. It will supply hydrogen
and up to 450,000 lb/hour of steam to Valeros new
57,000 bpd 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 and are in strong
demand globally. The process produces high-value, low-sulfur
products for each barrel of high-sulfur feedstock.
The new Port Arthur SMR is connected to Praxairs
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.
This project represents a significant
investment in hydrogen supply for Praxairs customers
along the Gulf Coast, said Mike Jordan, vice president of
Praxair's hydrogen business in the US. And with the
completion of a similar plant with pipeline expansion in Louisiana this year, we
will enhance competitive supply options for the lower
Mississippi River corridor as well.
Praxair operates more than 50 hydrogen production facilities and seven hydrogen
pipeline systems globally, allowing refinery customers to use
Praxair's portfolio of large-volume industrial gases,
cylinder gases and specialized refinery technologies and