Singapore Oxygen Air Liquide Pte Ltd (SOXAL), a fully owned subsidiary of Air Liquide, has announced that it has signed a long term contract to supply hydrogen to Neste Oil’s Renewable Diesel Plant in Singapore and will invest around €125m to build, own and operate a new world-scale Steam Methane Reformer (SMR) on Jurong Island.

The unit is expected to start up in 2010 and will produce approx. 100,000 Nm3 per hour of hydrogen, catering for the needs of Neste Oil’s industrial gas requirements.

The new hydrogen unit represents SOXAL’s fifth and biggest investment into the gas infrastructure of Jurong Island, serving existing and future petrochemical customers located on Jurong Island and Tuas as well as supporting Neste Oil’s new facility. SOXAL has already invested in 3 air separation units at Pulau Ayer Merbau and Pulau Ayer Chawan, 1 HyCO unit at Sakra and another new 1,200 tpd ASU at Pulau Ayer Merbau currently under construction.

Jean-Pierre Duprieu, Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific region and member of the Executive Committee of the Air Liquide Group, said, “These investments represent SOXAL’s commitment to our petrochemical customers in terms of reliability and system capability, today and for the future. As a worldwide leader in the hydrogen market, we are actively applying our best technologies and expertise to help our refinery and chemical customers around the world improve their process efficiencies and meet their environmental responsibilities.”

“Less than one year after the completion of the full acquisition of SOXAL by Air Liquide, this success enables us to significantly reinforce our positions in South East Asia and capitalise on growth in economies clustered around the industrial hub of Singapore,” added Duprieu.

Singapore is thought to be the world’s third largest centre of oil refining and in light of the Kyoto Protocol has committed itself to contributing to the environment, with SOXAL the leader in the Singapore market and recognised for its gas supplies and services to numerous semiconductor manufacturing facilities and petrochemical facilities.