Air Products has announced plans to build a second liquid hydrogen production facility in California to meet the increasing product demand from several customer markets.

Project development work is already underway with an anticipated facility onstream during the first quarter of 2021.

“Current customer demand for liquid hydrogen is driving the need for this new investment as we are experiencing growth from many traditional market segments, for which a reliable source of this product is vitally important,” said Marie Ffolkes, president, Americas at Air Products.

“…this new capacity will be available for the steadily increasing demand from hydrogen fuel cell vehicles,” Ffolkes continued.

Liquified hydrogen is delivered in trailers to customers in industries including, electronics, chemical and petrochemical, as well as hydrogen fuelling stations where it is re-gasified for fuelling hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles.

In September 2018, Air Products announced plans to build a new liquid hydrogen plant at its La Porte, Texas facility which will be supplied hydrogen from Air Products’ extensive Gulf Coast pipeline network. The La Porte project is also set to be onstream in 2021.

The Tier One company already have existing liquid hydrogen assets operating in New Orleans, Louisiana and Sacramento, California in the US, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada and Rotterdam in The Netherlands.

“We are committed to meeting the product needs of our customer base and as more and more hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are driven on the roads and highways of California, we will continue to evaluate additional capacity needs and make investments to meet demand,” said Ffolkes.

Recent evidence of the commitment to the reliable supply of hydrogen for the California FCV market includes a newly commissioned expansion doubling the size of Air Products’ Wilmington hydrogen transfill system, and the commissioning of new hydrogen transfill systems in Long Beach and Santa Clara for vehicle refuelling.

Air Products has also increased the number of dual-phase trailers, capable of transporting and off-loading hydrogen to fuelling stations, transfill stations or customer supply tanks. All of these investments increase hydrogen supply chain reliability.

Air Products has been involved in over 250 hydrogen fuelling projects in the US and 20 countries worldwide.

According to gasworld’s Senior Business Analyst Jonny Dearden, “In 2017 Air Products was the largest market player in the West Coast region of the US, with revenues of just under $1bn. The market for merchant hydrogen in the region is a growing one, experiencing an average 9% annual increase over the past decade. We would expect this growth to start to moderate slightly but continue to grow over the next five years.”