Air Liquide to invest US$850 mn in ExxonMobil’s blue hydrogen/ammonia plant

Air Liquide to invest US$850 mn in ExxonMobil’s blue hydrogen/ammonia plant

Air Liquide has announced that it intends to invest up to US$850 million in the construction, ownership and operation of four Large Modular Air separation units, as well as associated infrastructure, as part of a long-term binding agreement with US chemicals firm ExxonMobil for its planned low-carbon hydrogen project in Baytown, Texas. This will allow Air Liquide to raise its oxygen production capacity by 50% in Texas.

This significant project, which is still pending a final investment decision, would be the Air Liquide Group’s largest industrial investment in history. This planned Air Liquide Baytown low-carbon platform would primarily supply ExxonMobil with low-carbon oxygen and nitrogen.

In accordance with Air Liquide’s Advance strategy goal, this decarbonisation initiative will also help to improve the company’s Industrial Merchant footprint in the US.

ExxonMobil’s huge need for oxygen at its low-carbon hydrogen project in Baytown prompted the selection of Air Liquide to set up a low-carbon industrial gas platform.

Air Liquide would build, own and operate four new Large Modular Air (LMA) separation units at ExxonMobil’s site in Baytown. It will produce and supply a record volume of 9,000 tonnes/day of oxygen for the production of low-carbon hydrogen and up to 6,500 tonnes/day of nitrogen to support the synthesis of low-carbon hydrogen into low-carbon ammonia as a source of low-carbon energy for the export market.

The agreement also allows Air Liquide to capitalise on its existing pipeline infrastructure to promote the development of low-carbon hydrogen. Large volumes will also enable the LMA units to manufacture substantial quantities of argon, krypton and xenon, strengthening the group’s product offering to customers in the rare gases market.

These LMA facilities represent a significant step forward in terms of production output and energy consumption optimisation, as they require 25% less electricity to produce each ton of oxygen. Furthermore, these LMA units will be powered primarily by renewable and low-carbon electricity, lowering the project’s carbon footprint even further.