Air Products contracts Technip to build $400 million Baytown plant

Technip's office at 11700 Old Katy Rd. in Houston (Carlos Antonio Rios/Houston Chronicle)
Technip’s office at 11700 Old Katy Rd. in Houston (Carlos Antonio Rios/Houston Chronicle)

Air Products and Chemicals Inc. formally signed on Technip to engineer and build its $400 million hydrogen plant in Baytown, the companies announced Friday.

Pennsylvania-based Air Products is planning for the world-scale steam methane reformer plant in Texas to produce 125 million cubic feet a day of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, much of which will ship through its Gulf Coast pipeline that runs from the Houston Ship Channel to New Orleans.

Paris-based Technip touted its work with Air Products as the longest and best hydrogen alliance in the world supporting the oil and gas industry. Hydrogen is used in the petroleum refining process to remove impurities from in crude oil. Carbon monoxide gas is a common feedstock in petrochemicals production.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2018.

Technip said the plant will use its proprietary steam methane reforming, or SMR, technology, as well as the latest nitrogen oxide reduction technology to limit emissions.

Air Products is expanding elsewhere in Texas too. In November, the industrial gas producer opened its new liquid nitrogen production facility in Odessa. Liquid nitrogen is often used as part of the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking process.

However, Air Products did recently miss out on a bid to buy its other Pennsylvania-based competitor, Airgas. Also in November, France-based Air Liquide swooped in to buy Airgas for more than $10 billion. The deal came just a few years after Air Products ended an unsuccessful hostile bid for Airgas.