Industrial gases giant Praxair has announced a long-term agreement with Pasadena Refining System to provide hydrogen to its Pasadena, Texas, refinery starting in April 2007.

The hydrogen will be supplied from Praxair's existing 310-mile Gulf Coast hydrogen system.

Praxair\\$quot;s hydrogen pipeline system, one of the largest in the world, is connected to a substantial portion of refining capacity on the US Gulf Coast. Praxair\\$quot;s Gulf Coast hydrogen supply capability will be approximately 700 million cubic feet per day (1,000,000 cubic meters per hour) upon start-up of new capacity later this year.

Demand for Praxair\\$quot;s hydrogen on the US Gulf Coast is expected to increase by 15 per cent to 20 per cent per year through 2010 based on refiners\\$quot; needs to comply with Environmental Protection Agency regulations and the increasing volumes of high-sulfur crude oil being processed by refineries. Hydrogen removes sulfur from gasoline and other fuels during the refining process.

Praxair has seven major hydrogen pipeline systems that deliver more than 850 million standard cubic feet per day (1,250,000 cubic meters per hour) of hydrogen. Pasadena Refining System was originally acquired from Crown Central Petroleum Corporation in January of 2005. The refinery is capable of processing 117,000 barrels per day of crude oil and other feed stocks. It is located on the Houston Ship Channel near the Washburn Tunnel.