Praxair, Inc. has announced it is expanding its business and building a steam methane reformer to increase the supply of hydrogen for its liquid hydrogen plant in Niagara Falls, New York.

This investment will serve growing customer needs for hydrogen in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States and southeastern Canada. Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency, will provide a $1m capital grant to assist the company with its facility and equipment investment.

“Praxair is making this investment in response to growing customer requirements and the development of new applications,” said Jeff Barnhard, vice president of Praxair’s industrial gases business in the US East Region. “Additionally, this investment further diversifies our sources of hydrogen and results in distribution savings.”

Niagara Falls benefits from relatively low-cost and sustainable electric energy produced by local hydroelectric turbines. When complete in 2015, Praxair’s Niagara Falls liquid hydrogen production capacity will increase 50%. Liquid hydrogen is delivered by customised trucks to customers in a wide range of industries, including the manufacturing of metals, lubricants, glass, liquid fuels, solar technology, chemicals and food products.