The Premcor Refining Group Inc. have signed a letter of intent to receive hydrogen from BOC to their Lima site in Ohio.

BOC are investing approximately $40 million in equipment and pipelines to meet the supply agreement of hydrogen to Premcor’s 170,000 barrel-per-day refineries and to other customers in the Lima area.

Construction on the plant is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2005, with the first supply of hydrogen expected in the second quarter of 2006. BOC will team up with Linde BOC Process Plants of Tulsa, Oklahoma for the project.

Commenting on the agreement, BOC’s Global Vice President of Process Systems Alan Iantosca said, “BOC has been working with Premcor for over a year to develop the most efficient hydrogen supply option for the refinery and the region. We are dedicated to investing in projects like these and in others around the world that promote the development of the cleaner burning, hydrogen-rich fuels of the future and that makes best use of our natural resources”.

Trevor Burt, President of BOC Process Gas Solutions Americas said, “BOC is excited to expand its existing infrastructure in the Lima area and is pleased to build on its already significant presence in Ohio and the U.S. Midwestern States. This initiative brings BOC’s total investments in the North American oil and gas industry to more than US$350 million over the last 18 months”.

In March this year, BOC started construction on a $100 million hydrogen and utilities complex to supply BP and Sunoco oil refineries in Toledo, Ohio. The plant will supply over 120 million standard cubic feet a day to customers and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2005.