Air Products, the leading global hydrogen provider, and its subsidiary Air Products Canada Ltd., have announced the signing of three customer supply contracts for hydrogen from its Heartland Hydrogen Pipeline in Alberta, Canada.

Air Products will supply hydrogen by pipeline to Shell Canada Energy, Sherritt International Corporation, and Williams Energy (Canada) Inc.

Air Products had announced in December 2009 regulatory approval from the Alberta Energy Resource Conservation Board for the approximately 30-mile pipeline to provide hydrogen from its two operating production facilities in Strathcona County near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The pipeline will serve refiners, upgraders, chemical processors and other industries in the Alberta Industrial Heartland region, and is scheduled to be commercial in 2010.

“Hydrogen is needed in this region to support the continued operation and development of multiple industries in the area,$quot; said Steve Losby, General Manager–Canada at Air Products.

$quot;It is a major feedstock for bitumen upgrading and refining, and is key to enabling the production of cleaner burning transportation fuels.$quot;

$quot;In 2010 our pipeline will be onstream and begin supplying some customers in this announcement and several others we expect to sign in the coming months.”

“This pipeline followed existing pipelines to minimise the need for environmental disturbances for approximately 95% of its path, and will meet the current and future hydrogen needs of multiple industries in the area.”

Shell Canada Energy’s Scotford Upgrader, close to its refinery near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, uses hydrogen to upgrade high viscosity 'extra heavy' crude oil (called bitumen) into a wide range of synthetic crude oils. The Scotford Upgrader was the first facility of this type to be built in the Alberta Industrial Heartland region.
Sherritt International Corporation is a diversified natural resource company. The hydrogen will be used to precipitate nickel and cobalt from solution to produce high-purity metal products.

Williams Energy (Canada), Inc. will use Air Products’ hydrogen to treat certain olefinic synthetic gas liquids at its Redwater Fractionation facility. These liquids are extracted from off-gas produced by oil-sands upgraders and are valuable to the petrochemical industry. Williams Energy (Canada), Inc. is Canada’s only oil-sands off-gas processor.