Air Products signs oil sands hydrogen supply contracts

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, Mar. 30 -- Air Products reported signing three customer supply contracts Mar. 30 for hydrogen from its Heartland Hydrogen Pipeline in Alberta. Air Products will supply hydrogen by pipeline to Shell Canada Energy, Sherritt International Corp., and Williams Energy (Canada) Inc.

Air Products announced regulatory approval from the Alberta Energy Resource Conservation Board in December 2009 for the roughly 30-mile pipeline to provide hydrogen from its two operating production facilities in Strathcona County near Edmonton, Alta. The line, which will serve refiners, upgraders, chemical processors, and other industries, is scheduled to enter service this year.

Air Products said the line follows existing rights-of-way for roughly 95% of its route.

Shell Canada’s Scotford upgrader, close to its refinery near Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., uses hydrogen to upgrade bitumen into synthetic crude oils. Sherritt International will use its hydrogen to precipitate nickel and cobalt from solution for high-purity metal products.

Williams will use the hydrogen to treat olefinic synthetic gas liquids at its Redwater fractionation facility. These liquids come from off-gas produced by oil sands upgraders and are used in the petrochemical industry. Williams also plans to build a 12-in. OD pipeline in Alberta to transport natural gas liquids and olefins from its extraction plant in Fort McMurray to the Redwater facility. Construction of the 261-mile line is scheduled to begin this year, with an anticipated in-service date of April 2012 (OGJ Online, Apr. 30, 2009).

Air Products said it expects to sign agreements with several other customers between now and placing its pipeline in service.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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