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Air Products to build second liquid-H2 production facility in California

By Gerald Ondrey |

Air Products (Lehigh Valley, Pa.; www.airproducts.com) plans to build a second liquid hydrogen production facility in California to meet increasing product demand from several customer markets, including the growing fleet of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCV) in the state. Project development work is already underway with an anticipated facility onstream during the first quarter of 2021.

“Current customer demand for liquid hydrogen is driving the need for this new investment as we are experiencing growth from many traditional market segments, for which a reliable source of this product is vitally important. Additionally, this new capacity will be available for the steadily increasing demand from hydrogen fuel cell vehicles,” says Marie Ffolkes, president, Americas at Air Products.

Liquified hydrogen is delivered in trailers to customers in industries including: electronics, chemical and petrochemical, metals, material handling, float glass, edible fats and oils, and utilities, as well as to hydrogen fueling stations where it is re-gasified for fueling hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles.

This is the second new liquid hydrogen plant in the U.S. Air Products has announced in the past few months. In September 2018, Air Products announced plans to build a new liquid hydrogen plant at its La Porte, Texas facility which will be supplied hydrogen from Air Products’ extensive Gulf Coast pipeline network. The La Porte project is also anticipated to be onstream in 2021. Air Products has existing liquid hydrogen production assets operating in New Orleans, Louisiana and Sacramento, California in the U.S.; Sarnia, Ontario, Canada; and Rotterdam in The Netherlands.

“We are committed to meeting the product needs of our customer base and as more and more hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are driven on the roads and highways of California, we will continue to evaluate additional capacity needs and make investments to meet demand,” says Ffolkes.

Recent evidence of this commitment to the reliable supply of hydrogen for the California FCV market includes a newly commissioned expansion doubling the size of Air Products’ Wilmington hydrogen transfill system, and the commissioning of new hydrogen transfill systems in Long Beach and Santa Clara for vehicle fueling, Ffolkes noted. Air Products has also increased the number of dual-phase trailers, capable of both transporting and off-loading hydrogen to a fueling station, transfill station or customer supply tank. All these investments increase hydrogen supply chain reliability. In addition, Air Products is in the evaluation phase of adding further renewable hydrogen capacity from multiple sources in preparation for California’s increased FCV demand.

Air Products, the leading global supplier of hydrogen to refineries to assist in producing cleaner burning transportation fuels, has vast experience in the hydrogen fueling industry. In fact, several sites today for certain hydrogen fueling applications are fueling at rates of over 75,000 refills per year. Use of the company’s fueling technology is increasing and is used in over 1,500,000 hydrogen fills per year. The company has been involved in over 250 hydrogen fueling projects in the United States and 20 countries worldwide. Cars, trucks, vans, buses, scooters, forklifts, locomotives, planes, cell towers, material handling equipment, and even submarines have been fueled with trend-setting Air Products’ SmartFuel technologies.


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