Air Products and ExxonMobil have established a new world-scale hydrogen production plant in Rotterdam. The world-scale facility is pitted to improve energy efficiency by 15% and reduce CO2 emissions by 200,000 tons per year.

The Rotterdam State Secretary aided the official unveiling of Air Products’ and ExxonMobil’s new hydrogen plant. During his speech, Joop Atsma, State Secretary for Infrastructure and the Environment said that the importance of the new plant should not be underestimated. “We need plants like this one nationally as well as internationally to achieve our European mid-term and long term environmental ambitions,” said Atsma.

Key to achieving the delivery of a world-class plant of this size and scope within such an aggressive timetable was the expertise and close collaboration of all those involved in the project.

Jeff Byrne, Air Products’ Global Vice President and General Manager of Tonnage Gases

The Air Products plant uses ExxonMobil refinery’s excess gas to produce hydrogen, while the refinery harnesses hydrogen for the desulphurisation of oil products and in the manufacturing of petrochemicals. The hydrogen plant also delivers steam to the refinery. With these three benefits, synergy in the production processes of the two plants will improve overall energy efficiency by more than 15%.

Jeff Byrne, Air Products’ Global Vice President and General Manager of Tonnage Gases said, “Key to achieving the delivery of a world-class plant of this size and scope within such an aggressive timetable was the expertise and close collaboration of all those involved in the project. The Dutch government and local authorities also played an important role in helping us to deliver a plant that, by design, minimises the loss of heat to the environment and reduces the natural gas requirement.”

“As a location, the ExxonMobil Botlek site offers significant synergy in terms of our products and feedstock flow. It also allows us to connect the new plant into our extensive Rotterdam hydrogen pipeline network, which supplies hydrogen to several other customers in the region,” added Byrne.

Air Products, in conjunction with Technip – its main contractor on the project – began construction of the new hydrogen plant in June 2010. Start-up of the new hydrogen plant, which took approximately one million man-hours to build, took place in December 2011.

“Improving energy efficiency is the best way to reduce energy consumption and related CO2 emissions,” commented Andrew Madden, ExxonMobil Refinery Manager. “Through projects such as this one refineries can continue to provide oil products economically while continuing to reduce their environmental footprint. The Rotterdam refinery and petrochemical complex play an important role in our global company and the integration with the hydrogen plant demonstrates ExxonMobil’s commitment to disciplined investments in this region.”