Air Products inks agreements to acquire five operating hydrogen plants for $530mn

Published: 5 April 2020 - 8 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
Air Products announced it has signed agreements with PBF Energy Inc. that include the $530mn purchase of five hydrogen steam methane reformer (SMR) hydrogen production plants and the long-term supply of hydrogen from those already operating plants to PBF refineries. The SMRs, with a combined nearly 300 million standard cubic feet per day of production capacity, are located in Torrance and Martinez, California and Delaware City, Delaware. The deal is targeted to close during the third quarter of Air Products’ 2020 fiscal year.

“Air Products has a very strong balance sheet. This puts us in an outstanding financial position to execute our strategy of investing in long-term onsite deals, which includes asset acquisitions like the one we are announcing today. With this acquisition, not only do we gain five SMR plants, but we also secure a long-term hydrogen sale of gas agreement with an existing customer who is one of the largest independent refiners in North America,” said Seifi Ghasemi, chairman, president and CEO at Air Products.

PBF Energy chairman and CEO Thomas Nimbley said, “PBF is excited about expanding our long-standing relationship with Air Products. We are pleased to partner with a global leader in the industrial gas business and ensuring that our facilities continue to be supplied by a premier provider.”

Air Products is known as a leader in the supply of hydrogen to refineries in order to make cleaner burning transportation fuels. Hydrogen is widely used in petroleum refining processes to remove impurities found in crude oil such as sulphur, olefins and aromatics to meet product fuels 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.

The company also operates one of the most successful carbon capture projects in the world in Port Arthur, Texas, where the captured carbon dioxide (CO2) is injected into the ground and used for enhanced oil recovery in the state. Since 2013, Air Products has captured nearly 10 million tonnes of CO2 at Port Arthur that has been put to beneficial use.

Air Products currently operates 12 industrial gas facilities in California, which includes five hydrogen production plants. The hydrogen from these plants is used in the making of ultra-low sulphur transportation fuels (gasoline, diesel and jet). Air Products also supplies hydrogen for fuelling and fuelling infrastructure in California to support the growing fleet of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.

The SMR being purchased in Delaware City would be Air Products’ first major asset operating in Delaware.

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