Air Products has purchased a new steam methane reformer hydrogen facility from MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P., and has also signed a separate long-term supply agreement with the company.

The new hydrogen facility, which is under construction in Corpus Christi, Texas, will be owned and operated by Air Products.

It will produce over 30m standard cubic feet per day and is expected to be on-stream in March 2010.

The companies also signed a separate long-term supply agreement whereby Air Products will provide hydrogen and steam to MarkWest.

MarkWest will utilise the products produced by the SMR facility, combined with its existing production capabilities, to deliver high-purity hydrogen to local refinery customers.

“Air Products looks forward to expanding its US Gulf Coast hydrogen production expertise in the Corpus Christi refining region,” said Heather Remley, Manager– of West Gulf Coast Area Tonnage Gases for Air Products.

“The transaction is a win-win for clients in the region as it combines MarkWest’s strong customer relationships with Air Products’ world-class operating capabilities and experience.”

The new investment in Corpus Christi strengthens Air Products’ leading hydrogen position in the US Gulf Coast, which is comprised of numerous production facilities and over 450 miles of pipelines reaching from the Houston Ship Channel in Texas to Lake Charles, Louisiana, and from the city of Plaquemine, Louisiana to Chalmette, east of New Orleans.

Air Products also completed a pipeline connection across Lake Pontchartrain earlier this year and is in the process of building two new steam methane reformers in the Louisiana portion of its Gulf Coast system.