US industrial gas company Air Products is to build a US$4.5 billion (€3.9 billion) blue hydrogen clean energy complex in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, US.
The complex, which will be built, owned, and operated by Air Products, will produce more than 750 million scfd of blue hydrogen from natural gas, capturing around 95% of the produced CO2 for permanent storage. Some of the hydrogen produced will be compressed for supply to Air Products’ customers on the US Gulf Coast, via its existing pipeline network. The rest will be used to make blue ammonia for transport around the world, for conversion back into hydrogen. The co-products – liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen and liquid argon –will also be supplied to customers around the world.
The CO2 captured at the facility will be compressed and transported via pipeline to a number of inland sequestration sites, where it will be stored in geologic pore space around 1 mile (1.6 km) below the surface. Air Products has received approval from the Louisiana State Mineral and Energy Board, part of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, for the permanent sequestration of the CO2.
The project will generate 2,000 construction jobs over three years and 170 permanent jobs, with an expected annual payroll of US$15.9 million. The project is Air Products’ largest ever investment in the US.
‘This is a major industrial investment that will create quality manufacturing jobs while limiting environmental impacts, a goal envisioned by my Climate Initiatives Task Force. Carbon capture and sequestration are important to Louisiana’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions while maintaining jobs and growing our manufacturing base. This project is a clear demonstration of our ability to grow the Louisiana economy while lowering the carbon footprint of industry,’ says Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.
Air Products is also building a net zero hydrogen complex in Edmonton, Canada, and a green ammonia production facility joint venture in NEOM, Saudi Arabia powered by renewable energy.
‘In addition to our leadership in grey hydrogen, our Canada project and this Louisiana project make us the leader in blue hydrogen. We also will be the world leader in the production and supply of green, carbon-free hydrogen when the NEOM Project comes onstream. The energy transition will occur in stages, and the megaproject we are announcing today in Louisiana will help the state meet its ambitious goals while providing new sources of blue products for customers in the US and around the globe,’ says Air Products chairman, president and CEO Seifi Ghasemi.
Hydrogen as potential fuel of the future seems to be gaining momentum globally, as governments and companies seek to meet climate targets. Earlier in October 2021, Exolum announced it would build a €2 million green hydrogen production plant near Madrid in Spain, using Fusion Fuel technology, while BP is considering producing green hydrogen at its Kwinana refinery site, which is shutting down. BP is also planning a 1 GW blue hydrogen plant in the UK. The Port of Rotterdam Authority, Koole Terminals, Chiyoda Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation are carrying out a feasibility study into commercial-scale hydrogen imports. In the US, clean infrastructure firm Bakken Energy bought the assets of the Dakota Gasification Company (Dakota Gas), including the Great Plains Synfuels Plant in North Dakota, US, from Basin Electric, to form a hydrogen hub.