Air Products has announced plans to construct a new 180-mile long pipeline connecting its existing Louisiana and Texas hydrogen pipeline systems, creating the world’s largest hydrogen plant and pipeline supply network.

The integrated pipeline system will unite over 20 hydrogen plants and over 600 miles of pipelines to supply the Louisiana and Texas refinery and petrochemical industries with over one billion cubic feet of hydrogen per day.

The new Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline network is expected to be operational in mid-2012. This project allows Air Products to bring multiple benefits to its hydrogen customers.

“Air Products’ investment in this pipeline extension demonstrates our hydrogen market leadership and confidence in our Gulf Coast growth opportunities. Connecting our Gulf Coast hydrogen plants via this pipeline will offer our customers in this market enhanced supply capabilities and unmatched reliability of hydrogen supply which is critical to their operations,” said Steve Jones, Senior Vice President and General Manager - Tonnage Gases, Equipment and Energy at Air Products.

Jones added that the company evaluated the implementation of an underground storage cavern for hydrogen and was convinced the Gulf Coast pipeline will bring far greater benefits to customers and shareholders.

The new pipeline extension, which is in the project development phase, will connect Air Products’ Texas facilities to the Louisiana system near Baton Rouge. Once complete, Air Products’ hydrogen pipeline supply network will stretch from the Houston Ship Channel in Texas to New Orleans, Louisiana.

Air Products continues to add new hydrogen capacity in the Gulf Coast, with recent start-ups of plants in Garyville and Baton Rouge in 2010, as well as a new world-scale hydrogen production plant currently under construction in Luling.

In addition, Air Products recently acquired and commissioned a new standalone hydrogen plant in Corpus Christi, Texas.