Air Products, the leading global hydrogen provider, and its subsidiary Air Products Canada Ltd. today announced it has received regulatory approval from the Alberta Energy Resource Conservation Board for its Heartland Hydrogen Pipeline Project.

The approximately 30-mile pipeline will provide hydrogen from Air Products’ two operating production facilities near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to refiners, upgraders, chemical processors and other industries in the Alberta Industrial Heartland region.

Pipeline construction has begun, with onstream status targeted for 2010.

“We are very pleased to have received regulatory approval to move forward with the pipeline project,” said Steve Losby, General Manager–Canada at Air Products.

“Establishing a hydrogen network in this region will allow us to meet the current and future hydrogen needs of multiple industries in the area. Hydrogen is a major feedstock for bitumen upgrading and refining, and is key to enabling the production of cleaner burning transportation fuels.”

“We expect to make several customer supply announcements in the coming months.”

Air Products’ approach to the project was to use existing pipeline corridors wherever possible to reduce impact to the environment.

“Approximately 95 percent of this project will follow existing pipelines, and where we had to develop a new route, we made careful selections and underwent stringent environmental assessments,” added Losby.

“This pipeline will meet future hydrogen supply needs and minimize the need for environmental disturbances.”

Pipelines offer a safe, robust and reliable supply of hydrogen to the refinery and petrochemical industry around the world.

Besides this newly announced pipeline, Air Products also has a hydrogen pipeline in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, and operates the largest hydrogen pipeline network in the United States Gulf Coast, as well as pipeline systems in California in the US and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.