Praxair expands Texas hydrogen pipeline capacity

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, May 13 -- Praxair Inc. and Valero Logistics Operations LP have exchanged certain pipeline assets of different capacities in order to enhance their respective hydrogen systems. The action doubles the capacity of Praxair's Houston-Texas City, Tex. ,hydrogen pipeline in response to refining customers' increased hydrogen demand.

"This agreement allows Praxair to increase its ability to supply hydrogen to key refining customers, such as Valero, in Texas City," said Dan Yankowski, Praxair's vice-president, US South region.

Praxair's 300-mile Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline system is already connected to a substantial portion of US refining capacity. Refiners' demand for hydrogen has grown by 10-15%/year over the past 5 years. The rate is expected to increase to nearly 20%/year, based on the need for low-sulfur gasoline and diesel fuels to comply with new Environmental Protection Agency regulations coming into effect in 2004 and 2006.

In October 2001, Praxair announced plans to build along its US Gulf Coast pipeline system two world-class hydrogen plants having a combined estimated capacity of 200 MMcfd. The first start-up is scheduled for early 2004.

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