Air Products jointly gathered with Huntsman for a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of what will be the Tier One company’s new steam methane reformer (SMR) and cold box in Louisiana.
Under a long-term agreement, Air Products will build, own and operate the facility, producing and supplying industrial gases including carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2) and steam to Huntsman’s neighbouring Geismar operations. The new facility is expected to be commercially onstream in early 2020.
Located on land leased from Huntsman, a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and specialty chemicals, in Geismar, the facility will produce approximately 6.5 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) of CO, 50 MMSCFD of H2, and up to 50,000 pounds per hour of steam. There is also the ability for the facility to be expanded to increase CO in the future to support additional growth.
“It is always exciting to break ground for a new world-scale facility, and especially to do so at a location where it will primarily serve a long-standing customer. We have supplied Huntsman with industrial gases at other facilities where they have operations and we are pleased to expand our relationship through this new supply supporting Huntsman at Geismar. The Air Products plant will be state-of-the-art in terms of high reliability and sustainability, with enhanced energy efficiency and reduced emissions,” said Corning Painter, Executive Vice-President of Industrial Gases at Air Products.
Tony Hankins, President of Huntsman Polyurethanes added, “The reliability and environmental performance of the new industrial gases plant from Air Products will be an important foundation in supporting the delivery of our North American Polyurethanes strategy. As a business, we are focused on rapidly building our downstream footprint and capabilities. This strategic shift can only be achieved with a strong upstream asset position at our Geismar MDI facility. We look forward to the successful commissioning of the Air Products plant in early 2020.”
Beyond supply to Huntsman’s production facility in Geismar, Air Products’ new plant will also be connected to its Gulf Coast H2 pipeline and network system (GCP). Dedicated in 2012, the 600-mile pipeline span is the world’s largest H2 plant and pipeline network system. The GCP stretches from the Houston Ship Channel in Texas to New Orleans, Louisiana, and supplies customers with over 1.4 billion feet of H2 per day from 22 H2 production facilities.
“We recently announced increased H2 capacity to the Gulf Coast pipeline for customers with an onstream project in Texas, and now we will again have added enhanced and reliable hydrogen supply to the pipeline network when this Geismar facility is placed onstream. We continually seek additional sources of hydrogen to add product supply capacity to our customers along our well-established pipeline network system along the Gulf Coast,” said Painter.