June 20–Air Products has completed construction of a $350 million industrial gas facility in Baytown, Texas.
The Trexlertown-based Fortune 500 company held a ribbon-cutting event for the steam methane reformer Wednesday at the Covestro Baytown Industrial Park. Air Products will use the facility to produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide to Covestro, a manufacturer of specialty plastics and other high-tech polymers, as well as other customers linked to Air Products’ 600-mile Gulf Coast Pipeline.
Marie Ffolkes, president of Air Products’ American industrial gases division, said the new facility strengthens the company’s position in Texas’ carbon monoxide market. The increased capacity of its hydrogen pipeline supply network is necessary to making cleaner transportation fuels, which “helps to keep the air we breathe cleaner,” she said in a news release.
The facility is located on land leased from Covestro, which was spun off from pharmaceutical giant Bayer in 2015. Carbon monoxide is a critical raw material for Covestro’s chemical production in Baytown.
Air Products’ new steam methane reformer features the latest technology to maximize energy efficiency and reduce emissions, supporting the company’s overall sustainability goals of reducing energy consumption and emissions.
The Gulf Coast Pipeline stretches from the Houston Ship Channel to New Orleans and connects 23 hydrogen production facilities. In April, Air Products brought online another facility in nearby Mont Belvieu, Texas, and broke ground on another steam methane reformer near Baton Rouge, La.
Pipelines offer a safe, robust and reliable supply of hydrogen to the refinery and petrochemical industries around the world. Air Products also has hydrogen pipelines in California, Ontario and the Netherlands.
Hydrogen is widely used in petroleum refining processes to remove impurities found in crude oil such as sulfur, olefins and aromatics to meet product fuel 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.
Air Products had $8.2 billion in sales from continuing operations in fiscal year 2017. It has about 15,000 employees globally, including 2,250 in the Lehigh Valley.
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