Air Liquide is expanding its hydrogen capacity due to increasing demands. The increasing demand for hydrogen is largely driven by the need for refiners to process heavier crudes and to comply with the new environmental regulations.

A new hydrogen unit in Bayport, Texas has been fully integrated into Air Liquide\\$quot;s Texas Gulf Coast Pipeline system. The Bayport steam methane reformer (SMR) has a capacity of 100 million standard cubic feet per day.

There are many components of expansion to Air Liquide\\$quot;s hydrogen system on the Gulf Coast.

The industrial gas giant added a newly built purification station in Freeport, Texas, and a 23-mile extension to the pipeline itself has been built between Bayport and Texas City, Texas. Air Liquide has also begun work on another world-scale SMR in California. This unit, scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2008, will supply anticipated hydrogen needs in San Francisco.

The company\\$quot;s CEO, Pierre Dufour, said: "Air Liquide\\$quot;s hydrogen business in the US doubled between 2000 and 2004 and has doubled again from 2004 to the present. With this new hydrogen plant on-stream and the SMR underway in California, we are committed to continue to steadily increase the supply of hydrogen to serve the needs of refiners and petrochemical customers in major industrial basins."