Saudi Aramco has drawn up a long-term hydrogen supply agreement with Air Liquide Arabia. According to the new contract, Air Liquide Arabia will invest $450m in two global-scale hydrogen production units which will service a new refinery in the region. Furthermore, the deal signifies Air Liquide’s largest single industrial investment.
The dual hydrogen units will offer an hourly capacity of 300,000 Nm³ per hour, or 262m standard cubic feet per day. This hydrogen will subsequently supply Saudi Aramco’s grassroots refinery in Yanbu’ Industrial City, located on the west coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Overall, the agreement constitutes Air Liquide’s largest single industrial investment and its most prominent ‘over the fence’ hydrogen contract to date.
Pierre Dufour, Senior Executive Vice President of the Air Liquide Group supervising the Middle East Zone, commented, “With this new global scale project in Saudi Arabia, Air Liquide demonstrates its capacity to meet the growing needs of its long-term customers, particularly in the main industrial hubs. The outsourcing of the hydrogen needs of such a big refinery is a first in the Middle East and representative of a long term trend in this zone.”
Dufour added, “This project also reinforces our strategic and growing presence in the Middle East, where we continue to develop our industrial gas infrastructure in support of the evolving energy sector, a growth driver for Air Liquide.”
Saudi Aramco’s refinery is expected to go on-stream in 2014 and will process 400,000 barrels of heavy crude on a daily basis. Similarly the hydrogen facilities are also expected to be commissioned in 2014, however these shall be designed and built by Lurgi – a subdivision of Air Liquide Engineering.