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November 19, 2013

ArcelorMittal selects Air Products technology for onsite gas production

Gerald Ondrey

Air Products (Lehigh Valley, Pa.; has signed a contract with ArcelorMittal to supply three Prism PHG100 hydrogen-gas generators (PHG) and a high-purity Prism GN700 nitrogen generator for its Saint Chély d'Apcher plant in Southern France. The plant is now fully operational.

As the ArcelorMittal Saint Chély d'Apcher plant is not suited for the storage of large amounts of gaseous hydrogen, Air Products’ on-site modular concept of three hydrogen generators provides a favorable alternative solution. The system has been designed to operate at the required capacity even when one of the generators is offline, hence the remaining modules and backup storage ensure uninterrupted service. The installation is reliable as well as flexible because each generator can operate at 50% capacity, therefore offering flowrates from 50 to 300 Nm3/h.

In addition to hydrogen, Air Products also supplies the plant’s nitrogen requirements through a Prism cryogenic generator using a unique technology of distillation to produce high-purity nitrogen. To ensure continuous supply of the gas, two nitrogen backup storage tanks and four vaporizers have been installed to support the generator.

Both hydrogen and nitrogen are used in the annealing line of Saint Chély d'Apcher's plant to produce non-grain-oriented electrical steels, which, among other uses, are used in electric engines and wind turbines. This solution does not only increase ArcelorMittal’s production of high-value steel products, but also contributes to lower carbon dioxide emissions at the plant. Additionally, Air Products’ robust on-site concept allows significant savings to ArcelorMittal by improving plant operation and reducing startup time.

Air Products performs the design, fabrication, installation, technical support, and telemetry service of the equipment. The entire system is operated through Air Products’ Operating Service Centre (OSC) in France, where experienced OSC operators monitor critical metrics 24/7 to ensure the plant is operating smoothly and safely, as well as maintenance requirements are clearly identified.



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