From air separation units (ASUs) to small plant technologies and the increasing uprising in the hydrogen economy, industrial gas projects continue to proliferate globally, in various configurations and capacities.

Various ASU projects were either completed or announced in a number of regional markets last year, and further capacity additions are expected to be realised in 2017. Here are some of gasworld’s highlights of global project developments in the next 12 months.

Part 2 focuses on the Europe region.

UK

A-Gas will unveil a new refrigerant separator at its Portbury plant near Bristol in the second half of 2017, which will more than double the company’s reclamation capacity at the site. The new apparatus – an investment of around $1.3m – will run alongside A-Gas’ existing separator and will enable the reclamation of mixed refrigerants received from customers across Europe.

Finland

Linde Gases brings one of the world’s largest oxygen plants based on VPSA (vacuum pressure swing adsorption) on-stream in the third quarter of 2017, at the CP Kelco pulp and paper plant in Äänekoski, Finland. Around the same time, Linde also brings on-stream a similar ECOVARTM oxygen plant at the Metsä Group’s bio-product (pulp and paper) mill in Finland.

The long-term on-site gas supply agreements include plant installation, operation and maintenance; both will be constructed by Linde’s Engineering Division.

Denmark

H2 Logic, a subsidiary of Norwegian business NEL ASA, completes a rebuild and relocation to a new large-scale production site for hydrogen refuelling stations in Herning, Denmark in early 2017, having begun to relocate in latter 2016. The new factory will have an annual capacity to manufacture hydrogen refuelling stations sufficient to support 200,000 new fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) each year, making it the world’s largest factory for manufacturing such stations.

Later in the year, and Air Liquide will be producing hydrogen via water electrolysis from a new power to hydrogen project (the HyBalance project) in Denmark by the end of 2017. The hydrogen will be used for clean transportation and industrial customers, and will contribute to the company’s Blue Hydrogen commitment.

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Norway

Nel Hydrogen Solutions, another division of NEL ASA, will deliver a containerised hydrogen production facility and fuelling station for ASKO, the largest grocery wholesaler in Norway this year, expected to be operational in Trondheim in second-half 2017.

The dedicated solar facility will generate energy for Nel’s turnkey C-150 unit which will produce a total production capacity of more than 3,000m3 of hydrogen per day, whilst the H2Station will feature three separate dispensers – two dispensers at 350 bar dedicated to forklifts and trucks, and the other at 700 bar dedicated to cars.

Lithuania

The second half of 2017 is expected to see full scope delivery of an LNG reloading station in the port of Klaipeda, Lithuania – the result of cooperation between Chart Ferox and EPC consortium partner PPS Pipeline Systems for AB Klaipėdos nafta.

Five Chart cryogenic storage tanks, each measuring over 50m in length and with an external diameter of almost 6m, will provide 5,000 cubic meters of LNG storage at the station, which will be equipped with two loading areas for LNG trucks and jetty modules for ship bunkering. The Chart LNG regasification facility will have the capacity to provide 6000 Nm3/hour of natural gas.

In order to comply with legal provisions coming into effect in 2017, Mercedes-Benz has announced that it is to equip new vehicle models with CO2 air conditioning systems.

The Stuttgart-based manufacturer will equip its vehicles with air conditioning systems that meet all relevant performance and safety requirements, while exceeding the European Union’s (EU) climate protection requirements.

New F-Gas regulations adopted by the European Commission (EC) in 2014 and effective from 1st January 2015 strengthens existing measures (adopted in 2006) concerning the usage and control of emissions from fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases). From 1st January 2017, sister legislation the ‘MAC Directive’ stipulates a total ban of the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP higher than 150 in all new vehicles put on the EU market. From that date on, new vehicles with MAC systems using these gases cannot be registered, sold and enter into service in the EU.

Therefore from 2017, Mercedes-Benz will offer (in Europe) the S and E-Class as the first production passenger cars equipped with CO2-based air conditioning systems.

Germany

Technological cooperation between The Linde Group and Cryostar will see the biggest filling plant in Germany brought into action in second quarter 2017, boasting the capacity to fill more than 750,000 cylinders per year.

The plant in Unterschleissheim is in fact the expansion of an existing fill plant, which will continue to operate during its expansion and will feature ‘outstanding technical challenges’ with a modular and standardised installation compliant with GAMP 5 guidelines and food safety standards.

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Belgium

Following a string of mega investments, Ijsfabriek Strombeek welcomes the completion of an overhaul of its operations in the year ahead, including an entirely revamped nitrous oxide (N2O) production plant at its main site in Meise, Belgium. The plant is expected to be functioning by md-2017 and will generate a total capacity of 9,000 tonnes of N2O each year.

Among its investments, Strombeek is also working towards the opening of a new carbon dioxide (CO2) plant in Ghent, Belgium, as part of a joint venture (JV) with Messer Belgium. The JV, named ‘BECO2’ is split into a 30/70 divide for Strombeek and Messer Belgium, respectively. The new plant will produce around 13 tonnes of CO2 per hour, with a total capacity of around 100,000 tonnes per year.

Netherlands

Praxair, Inc. will bring an OPTIMELT thermochemical regenerator (TCR) system and a non-cryogenic, VPSA system into play in the Netherlands this year, under a long-term contract with one of the largest glassware and tableware manufacturers globally, Libbey.

Both the OPTIMELT TCR system and the 60 tonnes per day (tpd) VPSA oxygen on­site supply system will benefit Libbey’s glass melting facility and are scheduled to start up in 2017.

Meanwhile, HyGear will realise a new hydrogen filling station in Arnhem in 2017 for the use of fuel cell cars and business in the region. The station is part of a large project funded by the EU and will be completed by CNGNet to facilitate the growing need for hydrogen fuelling.

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France

Energy storage and clean fuel company ITM Power rolls out an integrated hydrogen refuelling station in France in mid-2017 under a deal with hydrogen energy operator Hydrogène de France (HDF).

The contract, worth €1.5m ($1.6m), will be partly funded by the EU as part of the H2ME2 Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) project, while the onsite electrolyser will serve both individual fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and local captive fleets using 350-700 bar refuelling technology.

Latvia

Nel Hydrogen Solutions will help to advance the hydrogen infrastructure in Latvia this year, after being awarded a contract by SIA Hydrogenis under which the former will deliver a new dual capability H2Station® and associated facilities for the second half of 2017. The new station will provide a combined hydrogen fuelling solution for both cars and buses in Latvia’s capital city, Riga