Air Liquide has today (24th May) opened its largest liquid hydrogen production and logistics infrastructure facility in North Las Vegas, Nevada, to serve the growing hydrogen mobility market.

Marking a $250m investment, the plant will have a capacity of 30 tonnes of liquid hydrogen daily, produced in part from renewable natural gas sourced from landfills using Air Liquide’s advanced separation membrane technology.

Located just next to California, one of the world’s largest fuel cell vehicle markets with one of the most robust retail refuelling station networks, Air Liquide said the plant will be key in expanding hydrogen supply on the West Coast, thus enabling the market to continue its growth.

gasworld understands the facility can provide enough renewable hydrogen for over 40,000 fuel cell vehicles in California.

Michael Graff, Chairman and CEO of American Air Liquide Holding and Executive Vice-President of Air Liquide Group, said, “Air Liquide has supported the clean mobility market on the west coast since its infancy and the North Las Vegas facility is a milestone in our decades-long leadership of the US hydrogen market.”

“This facility is an illustration of our commitment, and ability, to usher sustainable markets into the future, while creating jobs and fostering economic growth in the present.”

“By providing a reliable supply of hydrogen to California’s mobility market and the region’s industrial customers, we are making a significant investment in the transition towards a more sustainable future, one with hydrogen at its core.”

Air Liquide’s investment is believed to have created jobs for 700 contractors and 25 full-time jobs with the plant at full capacity and attract hydrogen players to move into the area and create further revenue for the city of Las Vegas and the state of Nevada.

The plant marks the first step for Air Liquide’s role in clean mobility development in North Las Vegas and contribute to the group’s goal of at least tripling hydrogen sales in order to reach €6bn ($6.5m) by 2035.

gasworld Business Intelligence  believes there are currently 11 liquid hydrogen plants operational in the US, with Air Liquide’s Las Vegas facility marking the 12th.

According to the Business Intelligence team, Air Products and Linde (ex Praxair) were historically the strongest players in the liquid hydrogen market. From the early 1960s and until about the mid-2010s, they shared the market among themselves almost half by half. However, Air Liquide has been steadily developing in liquid hydrogen market in the past few years.

The Las Vegas plant is the second liquid hydrogen plant that Air Liquide operates in the US. The first one, located in Calvert City, Kentucky, has a capacity of 10 tonnes per day and was commissioned in 2016. Since the commissioning of the new site, Air Liquide’s share in the US liquid hydrogen production hydrogen has risen from 4% to 13%.