Air Liquide has signed a new long-term agreement with Pemex Transformación Industrial, a subsidiary of Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), the state-owned oil and gas company, to supply hydrogen (H2) to PEMEX’s refinery located in the central region of Mexico.

Through a €50m ($59m) investment for the take over and optimisation of PEMEX’s existing H2 production unit, this agreement will allow Air Liquide to strengthen its presence in central Mexico.

According to the long-term contract, Air Liquide Mexico will acquire, upgrade and operate the customer’s existing H2 production unit (Steam Methane Reformer-SMR) in order to supply 90,000 Nm3 per hour of H2 to PEMEX refinery. The acquisition of the SMR is subject to closing conditions, including the approval of the Mexican antitrust authority.

Expected to start operations in the first quarter of 2018, Air Liquide’s upgraded SMR will provide H2 to PEMEX with optimal safety and reliability to help produce cleaner fuels at the Tula refinery. H2 is used in the petroleum refining process to help produce cleaner transportation fuels.

Michael J. Graff, Executive Vice-President and member of the Air Liquide group’s Executive Committee, said, “We appreciate the confidence PEMEX has placed in Air Liquide as their supplier of choice for their Tula refinery’s H2 needs. This long-term agreement with PEMEX further recognises the world-class capabilities of Air Liquide and our commitment to providing safe, reliable and innovative technologies, and deliver even greater value to meet customers’ needs around the world. We are pleased to expand our relationship with PEMEX and to continue to strengthen our presence in Mexico and throughout the region.”