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Air Products Holds Ribbon-Cutting for World-Class SMR at Covestro in Texas

New Baytown Facility to be Connected to World’s Largest Hydrogen Plant and Pipeline System

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Air Products (NYSE: APD), the leading global hydrogen provider, today held a ribbon-cutting event at the Covestro LLC Baytown, Texas, industrial park, where Air Products has invested over $350 million to build, own and operate a world-scale steam methane reformer (SMR). The SMR is producing hydrogen and carbon monoxide (CO) to be supplied at Baytown to Covestro and to other customers linked to Air Products’ Gulf Coast Hydrogen and CO Pipeline Networks. 

“Our decades-long relationship with Covestro and its predecessor companies continues to grow with this new facility in Baytown. Our new plant is important to our host site customer Covestro for the carbon monoxide produced, but the facility also offers other benefits to Air Products, other customers, and even the general public. The new SMR strengthens Air Products’ position in the Texas CO market, and it increases the product capacity of our well-established hydrogen pipeline supply network while creating a product necessary to making cleaner burning transportation fuels, which helps to keep the air we breathe cleaner,” said Marie Ffolkes, president‒Industrial Gases Americas at Air Products.

The SMR and cold box are both located on land leased from Covestro, a world-leading manufacturer of high-tech polymer materials for diverse industries, such as automotive, construction and furniture. The SMR produces approximately 125 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of hydrogen and a world-scale supply of carbon monoxide, a critical raw material for Covestro’s chemical production in Baytown. 

“We’re proud to host Air Products and its world-class SMR facility at our Baytown Industrial Park,” said Rod Herrick, vice president, Covestro Baytown Industrial Park. “We’re always exploring new opportunities to increase the reliability and efficiency of our Baytown operations, and today marks an important milestone on that journey. The new SMR facility will strengthen our regional supply network, which in turn allows us to better serve our customers.”

Air Products’ new SMR was built through the global hydrogen alliance between Air Products and TechnipFMC, a global leader in subsea onshore/offshore, and surface projects for the energy industry. The plant features the latest technology to maximize energy efficiency and reduce emissions, and includes optimal heat integration, which in turn lowers feedstock consumption. The plant configuration and deployed technologies support Air Products’ overall sustainability goals of reducing energy consumption and emissions.

Ffolkes added that Air Products’ ability for the new plant to connect to its existing Gulf Coast Pipeline (GCP), the world’s largest hydrogen plant and pipeline network system, remains a value-added plus for hydrogen customers in terms of ensuring product reliability. In April 2018, Air Products announced another increase to the supply capacity of its GCP supply network by approximately 40 mmscfd from processing hydrogen-rich off-gas from a propane dehydrogenation plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas. Air Products officially innaugurated its GCP in 2012. The 600-mile pipeline span stretches from the Houston Ship Channel in Texas to New Orleans, Louisiana, and supplies customers with over 1.4 billion feet of hydrogen per day from 23 hydrogen production facilities. 

Pipelines offer a safe, robust and reliable supply of hydrogen to the refinery and petrochemical industries around the world. Globally, Air Products’ pipeline operational expertise is evidenced by its network of systems. Besides the GCP, Air Products also has a hydrogen pipeline in California in the U.S., in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, and in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. 

Hydrogen is widely used in petroleum refining processes to remove impurities found in crude oil such as sulphur, olefins and aromatics to meet product fuels specifications. Removing these components allows gasoline and diesel to burn cleaner and thus makes hydrogen a critical component in the production of cleaner fuels needed by modern, efficient internal combustion engines. 

About Air Products

About Covestro

About Covestro’s Baytown Facility

About TechnipFMC

About the Air Products/TechnipFMC Global Alliance