BP and Praxair have finalised a 20-year deal to supply hydrogen to BP’s Whiting Indiana refinery.

To fulfil the terms of the deal with BP and to supply other customers in Northern Indiana, Praxair will build a new hydrogen plant with a capacity of 20 million cubic feet per day. The start-up of the plant is expected in the third quarter of 2006.

BP will use the hydrogen to fulfil its Whiting Refinery commitment to supplying ultra-low-sulphur fuels over the next few years.

Commenting on the agreement Howard Brodbeck, Vice President of Praxair’s North American Industrial Gases business unit said, “This expansion more than doubles Praxair’s hydrogen capacity in Whiting, further strengthening our ability to meet the growing needs of customers in the Northern Indiana industrial corridor”.

Praxair currently operate 25 steam-methane reformers and seven major hydrogen pipeline systems that deliver more than 85 million cubic feet per day of hydrogen. Praxair’s 310-mile hydrogen-pipeline complex on the U.S. Gulf Coast is one of the world’s largest.