Air Products Canada has celebrated the commercialisation of its first hydrogen production facility to serve the Canadian refining industry with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Alberta, Canada.

Air Products' 71 million standard-cubic-feet-per-day (MMSCFD) hydrogen production plant serves the Petro-Canada and Imperial Oil refineries, and other customers in the local area.

"We are excited to have this facility on-stream and to be working with the refining industry in Canada. This facility is the first of three hydrogen plants we will have operating in Canada by 2008.

"These will also be the first on-purpose production facilities to provide long-term hydrogen supply to Canadian refineries. The Alberta Industrial Heartland is one of three key Canadian refining centres and an area that will continue to grow in hydrogen demand as more oil sands crude is processed," said Steve Losby, general manager for Air Products' Energy and Process Industries Division-Canada.

Mark Bye, group vice president, Gases and Equipment Group at Air Products, continued: "Refiners need a dependable supply of hydrogen to maximize production of fuels. We look forward to working with refiners in this region and to build on the numerous long-term relationships we have with the refining industry worldwide."

The hydrogen production facility, a natural gas-based steam methane reformer, assists refiners to produce cleaner transportation fuels and other petroleum products from heavier crude feedstocks.