Air Products launches US Gulf hydrogen network

Air Products on Tuesday held a dedication ceremony for what it says is the world’s largest hydrogen plant and pipeline supply network, stretching from the Houston Ship Channel to New Orleans.

The company said it previously operated two hydrogen pipeline systems in Texas and Louisiana before joining them with a new 180-mile segment.

The new Gulf Coast Connection Pipeline (GCCP) is now able to provide hydrogen to customers along the 600-mile pipeline span from over 20 hydrogen production facilities.

“Product supply and reliability are the top priorities to the refinery and petrochemical industries,” said Jeff Byrne, vice president and general manager for tonnage gases.

“This completed pipeline project increases the reliable and flexible supply of hydrogen, critically important to the sustainability of these industries, and allows them to continue to expand and thrive.

Byrne spoke to an audience gathered for the dedication event at an Air Products facility in Plaquemine, Louisiana.

The company announced the pipeline project in 2010 and first placed it onstream in August to begin supply of over 1.2 billion cubic feet/day of to Louisiana and Texas customers.

Thus, the pipeline was onstream prior to recent Hurricane Isaac, and Byrne said customers experienced its benefits immediately.

“The positive implications of our hydrogen pipeline's capabilities were already evident to customers impacted by Isaac,” said Byrne.

“The ability to move product along the pipeline, and to be able to source hydrogen for customers in Louisiana from production facilities hundreds of miles away in Texas, was outstanding, recognized, and appreciated by our customers. When a customer notified us that they needed additional hydrogen, and needed it now, it was there.”

Byrne noted that his company has already signed and announced agreements with customers for new and increased product supply, allowing for some of the hydrogen allotment to be directed to multiple customer locations in the two states.

“We are able to offer enhanced supply capability to our customers because of our vast hydrogen pipeline system," Byrne said.

In addition to the Gulf Coast system, Air Products has hydrogen pipeline networks operating around the world. Those include another in the US in Southern California; in Canada at Sarnia, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta; and in The Netherlands in Rotterdam.

Hydrogen is widely used in refining processes to remove impurities found in crude oil such as sulfur, olefins and aromatics to meet product fuels specifications.

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