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Air Products starts up Geismar steam methane reformer to supply Huntsman

By Mary Page Bailey |

Air Products (Lehigh Valley, Pa.) announced that its new steam methane reformer (SMR) and cold box in Geismar, Louisiana are onstream and supplying Huntsman’s neighboring industrial operations. Air Products built, owns and operates the facility under a long-term agreement, supplying carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen and steam produced from the facility to Huntsman. Air Products’ SMR is also connected to its Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline and network system (GCP), which is the world’s largest hydrogen plant and pipeline network system.

Air Products’ new SMR in Geismar, La. is serving a nearby Huntsman facility (Source: Air Products)

“Air Products’ new Geismar facility was successfully placed onstream and met the customer’s desired schedule and product needs. The facility is state-of-the-art and offers high reliability and sustainability, with enhanced energy efficiency and reduced emissions. We have a long-standing relationship with Huntsman, and we are pleased this new world-scale facility and long-term supply agreement expands our support for Huntsman’s operations,” said Dr. Samir J. Serhan, chief operating officer at Air Products. 

Tony Hankins, president of Huntsman’s Polyurethanes division said, “We are appreciative of the professionalism and dedication of the Air Products and Huntsman project teams, which enabled the on-time completion of this world scale HyCo facility. The Huntsman Geismar team delivered a significant and complex element of the project, constructing interconnecting facilities and process controls to flow the products and utilities between the sites. The new plant substantially improves HyCo reliability and strengthens the reliability and environmental performance of our upstream MDI-polyurethanes assets at Geismar, which in turn underpins our drive into downstream markets.”

The new facility is located on land leased from Huntsman and produces approximately 6.5 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) of CO, 50 MMSCFD of hydrogen, and up to 50,000 pounds per hour of steam. The facility is also capable of being expanded to increase CO supply in the future to support additional demand. 

With the additional hydrogen production facility, Air Products continues to expand the capacity and capabilities of its GCP. Air Products’ GCP, dedicated in 2012, is an over 600-mile pipeline span that currently stretches from the Houston Ship Channel in Texas to New Orleans, Louisiana.   

“Additions to our GCP like this one in Louisiana continue to enhance the reliable hydrogen supply to all the customers along the pipeline network. Air Products is always seeking to add product supply capacity from more sources of hydrogen for our customers to build on our well-established pipeline system in the Gulf Coast,” said Bill Hammarstrom, president – HyCO Americas at Air Products.

In January 2020, Air Products announced another addition to the pipeline is coming with an SMR to be built in Texas City, Texas. When the Texas City facility is added to the GCP system, customers will be reliably served by over 1.7 billion feet of hydrogen per day from 24 connected production facilities. 

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