DANBURY, Conn., April 24, 2006 — Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) is constructing a hydrogen storage facility to enable peak shaving, which will be the first of its kind in the industrial gases industry. Located in Liberty County, Texas, the facility will utilize an underground storage cavern.
The peak-shaving system will be integrated with Praxair's hydrogen pipeline network which serves customers from Texas City, Texas, to Lake Charles, Louisiana. It will significantly increase the on-demand availability of hydrogen for Praxair's customers during periods of peak demand.
"This new facility further demonstrates our commitment to be the supplier of choice by refineries and other customers in the Gulf Coast area," said Mark Gruninger, vice president, South Region, for Praxair's North American Industrial Gases business unit.
The peak-shaving system will be brought on line in 2007, following the completion of a third world-scale steam-methane reformer later this year. The Gulf Coast pipeline network will then be able to supply 700 million cubic feet per day of hydrogen on a steady state basis, with peaking capacity of 800 million cubic feet per day.
Demand for Praxair's hydrogen on the U.S. Gulf Coast is expected to increase by 15% to 20% per year through 2010 based on refiners’ needs to comply with Environmental Protection Agency regulations and the increasing volumes of high-sulfur crude oil being processed by refineries. Hydrogen removes sulfur from gasoline and other fuels during the refining process.
In addition to hydrogen, Praxair supplies refining customers with a complete portfolio of large-volume industrial gases, cylinder gases and specialized services. The company operates 25 steam methane reformers and seven hydrogen pipeline systems around the world that deliver more than 850 million standard cubic feet per day of hydrogen.
Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2005 sales of $7.7 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair is a recognized leader in the commercialization of new technologies that bring productivity and environmental benefits to a diverse group of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, electronics, energy, food and beverage, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com.