Air Liquide has announced the building of a new hydrogen-producing steam methane reformer (SMR) in Texas, USA.

The plant, which is currently under construction, will support the increasing need for hydrogen used to produce cleaner fuels by customers located along Air Liquide\\$quot;s Gulf Coast Pipeline System and to supply steam to customers from its steam system.

The 100 million standard cubic feet per day SMR, based in Bayport, Texas, will be the largest of the group\\$quot;s global hydrogen producing assets.

\\$quot;We are pleased to support the growing needs of companies like ConocoPhillips as we continue to develop our hydrogen production and Gulf Coast Pipeline System,\\$quot; said Pierre Dufour, Air Liquide Group executive VP.

He continued: \\$quot;Air Liquide\\$quot;s commitment to sustainable development and its dedication to creating value for customers are powerful drivers in our efforts to assist companies to improve their process efficiencies and help them with their environmental responsibilities.\\$quot;

Half the capacity to ConocoPhillips

More than half the capacity of the new SMR will go toward supplying ConocoPhillips, a world leading energy company, and its refinery in Sweeny, Texas. Air Liquide\\$quot;s pipeline network will provide ConocoPhillips with hydrogen needed to produce new ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel.

The remaining hydrogen from the new SMR will meet the increasing needs of Air Liquide hydrogen network customers, especially existing and new petrochemical customers along the company\\$quot;s Gulf Coast Pipeline System. Moreover, Air Liquide patented technology will be utilised to supply additional hydrogen from Air Liquide\\$quot;s Freeport site.

Completion of the new SMR is expected by May 2006.