Air Products has unveiled plans to build a US$4.5 billion hydrogen complex in Louisiana. The company will build, own, and operate the megaproject, which will produce more than 750 MMscf/d (21.3 x 106 m3/d) of blue hydrogen in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. Blue hydrogen is produced utilizing hydrocarbons as a feedstock, with the carbon dioxide (CO2) in the production process captured for permanent sequestration.
A portion of the blue hydrogen will be compressed and supplied to customers by Air Products’ US Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline network. The balance of the blue hydrogen from the new facility will be used to make blue ammonia, which will be transported around the world and converted back to blue hydrogen for transportation and other markets.
“This landmark megaproject will not only create jobs but make Louisiana and Ascension Parish leaders in the US clean energy transition,” said Seifi Ghasemi, chair, president, and CEO of Air Products. “Air Products is fully invested in and committed to projects that leverage our build-own-operate, technology, financial, and sustainability capabilities, and this project brings all of those core strengths together. We are very excited about the model this project represents in the broader energy transition.”
When completed in 2026, the project will feature the world’s largest instance of CO2 capture for permanent sequestration, and it will produce only blue products.
According to Air Products, roughly 95% of the CO2 generated at the facility will be captured, compressed, and transported by pipeline to multiple inland sequestration sites located along a pipeline corridor extending up to 35 miles (56 km) to the east of the new production facility. More than 5.5 million tons (5 million tonnes) per year of CO2 will be permanently sequestered in geologic pore space secured from the State of Louisiana approximately 1 mile (16 km) beneath the surface of the earth. Air Products has already received approval from the State Mineral and Energy Board, which is part of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, for the permanent storage the CO2.
The sequestration sites comprise approximately 122,455 acres (49,555 ha) throughout the Louisiana parishes of Livingston, St. James, St. John the Baptist, Cameron, and Tangipahoa. The sites include 33,146 acres (13,413 ha) located in the Canal Bank area of the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area, 57,100 acres (23,107 ha) consisting of Lake Maurepas, and 32,209 acres (13,034 ha) consisting of Sabine Lake.
Carbon capture is a technology in which the company has played a pioneering role. For example, Air Products designed and constructed a large-scale system to capture CO2 from its two steam methane reformers located within a Valero refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. The recovered and purified CO2 is delivered by pipeline for use in enhanced oil recovery operations. Described by the US Department of Energy as a milestone in its industrial carbon capture and storage program, the project has been in commercial operation since early 2013 and has captured approximately 1 million tons (907,185 tonnes) of CO2 annually since entering service.
The Louisiana megaproject follows Air Products’ announcement in June 2021 of a multibillion-dollar, net-zero hydrogen complex in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. When complete, the site will consist of an autothermal reformer hydrogen production facility and carbon capture operations capable of achieving 95% removal of CO2 from the complex. An on-site power generation facility fueled 100% by hydrogen will produce electricity for the entire facility and export power to the grid, offsetting the 5% of the remaining CO2 to achieve the net-zero hydrogen facility design.
The new Edmonton hydrogen liquefaction facility will play a critical role in the developing hydrogen economy across Western Canada. Air Products already operates three hydrogen production facilities and a 34-mile (55-km) hydrogen pipeline in Alberta. It also operates a hydrogen production facility, an 18-mile (30-km) pipeline network, and a liquefaction facility in Sarnia, Ontario.
“We continue to make significant investments in the production and supply of hydrogen,” said Ghasemi. “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 United States and around the globe.”