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July 22, 2013
Praxair expands hydrogen supply with Gulf Coast startup
Praxair, Inc. (Danbury, Conn.; www.praxair.com) today announced the startup of its state-of-the-art, 135 million standard cubic feet per day (scfd) hydrogen plant serving the Valero petroleum refinery in Port Arthur, Texas and other customers.
The new plant houses the largest steam methane reformer (SMR) Praxair has built to date to supply hydrogen and up to 450,000 lb/h of steam to Valero’s new 57,000-bbl/d hydrocracker. Hydrocrackers are used to break down hydrocarbon molecules in heavier crude oil to produce premium transportation fuels, such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels that burn cleaner and are in strong demand globally. The process produces 1.2 barrels of high-value, low-sulfur products for each barrel of high-sulfur feedstock.
The new Port Arthur SMR is connected to Praxair’s existing 750-million scfd Gulf Coast pipeline network. The network includes a unique 2.5-billion scf high-purity hydrogen storage cavern that provides additional supply reliability for Praxair customers along the pipeline. The U.S. Gulf Coast is the largest oil refining and petrochemical-producing region in the world.
“This project represents a significant investment in hydrogen supply for Praxair’s customers along the Gulf Coast,” said Mike Jordan, vice president, U.S. Hydrogen. “And with the completion of a similar plant with pipeline expansion in Louisiana this year, we will enhance competitive supply options for the lower Mississippi River corridor as well.”