Praxair starts up new hydrogen plant at Valero refinery in Louisiana

Praxair has started up a new 135 million standard cubic feet/day (scfd) hydrogen plant serving Valero’s St. Charles refinery in Norco, Louisiana, the company said on Thursday.

The hydrogen will be produced for Valero under a long-term supply agreement.

Praxair is also scheduled to complete its 50-mile pipeline extension to the Valero and Motiva refineries in Norco in the fourth quarter of this year. When complete, Praxair says it will have 85 miles of pipeline connecting the company’s five steam methane reformers (SMR) between Baton Rouge and New Orleans to meet growing customer demand in the lower Mississippi River corridor.

Praxair’s St. Charles SMR supplies hydrogen and up to 450,000 lb/hour of steam to Valero’s new 60,000 bpd hydrocracker. The hydrocracker produces 1.2 bbl of high-value, low-sulfur products for each barrel of high-sulfur feedstock.

“As petrochemical companies continue to make unprecedented investments in the lower Mississippi River corridor, Praxair is committed to supporting their growth through the expansion of our hydrogen supply and overall syngas capabilities in the region,” said Mike Jordan, vice president of Praxair's US hydrogen business.

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