Air Products, and its subsidiary Air Products Canada Ltd., today announced plans to build, own and operate a new world-scale hydrogen production plant adjacent to Shell Canada’s Scotford facility located northeast of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
The Air Products facility will produce over 150 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) of hydrogen and will be connected to Air Products Canada’s existing Heartland Hydrogen Pipeline system which supplies refiners, upgraders, chemical processors and other industries in the Alberta Industrial Heartland region. The new Air Products Canada hydrogen plant is to be commissioned in the second half of 2015 pending regulatory approval.
The new Canadian plant will be built under a long term agreement for Air Products to supply Shell Scotford with hydrogen and steam. The Scotford contract represents the first award under a recently signed Enterprise Framework Agreement (EFA) between Shell and Air Products. The EFA provides a template for all future industrial gas contracts between Shell and Air Products.
“Refineries, upgraders, and other customers in the Heartland region have increasing demands for hydrogen. This new facility, which is connected to our established hydrogen pipeline system, will provide a very reliable source of hydrogen for these industries. We are pleased to be increasing our relationship with Shell, who we already supply at Scotford and other locations around the world,” said Wilbur Mok, vice president - North America Tonnage Gases at Air Products. Mok added that this follows Air Products’ well-established on-site business model of winning profitable projects by signing long-term agreements with reputable customers.
The Shell Scotford industrial location will gain an added supply reliability benefit from its connection to Air Products Canada’s 30-mile hydrogen pipeline. This pipeline is also fed by two existing hydrogen production plants in Edmonton that produce over 180 MMSCFD of hydrogen. “Our customers in the U.S. Gulf Coast have noted the benefit of being connected to a large hydrogen network pipeline system when it comes to enhanced supply reliability. We believe that model will also serve the Heartland customers well,” said Mok.
Pipelines offer a safe, robust and reliable supply of hydrogen to the refinery and petrochemical industry around the world. Globally, Air Products’ pipeline operational expertise is evidenced by its network of systems. Besides this newly announced pipeline, Air Products also has a hydrogen pipeline in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, and operates the world’s largest hydrogen pipeline network in the United States Gulf Coast, as well as pipeline systems in California in the U.S. and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The new hydrogen facility will be built through the global hydrogen alliance between Air Products and Technip, a world leader in project management, engineering and construction. The plant will feature the latest technology advancements to maximize energy efficiency and emissions reduction, and will include optimal heat integration, which in turn lowers feedstock consumption during production. The plant configuration and deployed technologies support Air Products’ overall sustainability goals of reducing energy consumption and emissions.
For 20 years the Air Products and Technip global alliance has provided the worldwide refining industry with competitive technology and world-class safety. The alliance is responsible for over 35 hydrogen production plants located in 11 countries around the world and produces well over two billion standard cubic feet of hydrogen per day for clean fuels production. Technip provides the design and construction expertise for steam reformers while Air Products provides the gas separation technology. Air Products, through its extensive operating network, and Technip, from its large reference base, also bring effective operational and engineering knowledge to “design-in” high reliability and efficiency. The plants are operated and maintained by Air Products under long-term agreements with customers.
Hydrogen is widely used in petroleum refining processes to remove impurities found in crude oil such as sulphur, olefins and aromatics to meet 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 needed by modern, efficient internal combustion engines.