Air Products Wins Bharat Petroleum Supply Contract for Hydrogen and Other Gases

Two Reformer Trains Highlight Air Products' First India Hydrogen Facilities for Expanding Refinery in Kochi

PR Newswire

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Air Products (APD), the leading global hydrogen provider, today announced it has signed a long-term agreement with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) (BPCL.NS) and will build, own, and operate several new industrial gas production facilities in Kochi, Kerala, India. The new industrial gas complex will provide hydrogen, syngas, nitrogen and oxygen for BPCL's Kochi Refinery and its proposed petrochemicals complex. The facilities will support India's largest-ever outsourced hydrogen requirement and will result in Air Products' first hydrogen production facilities in India. A phased onstream for the products supplied to BPCL's Kochi Refinery targets late 2015 for the initial supply of gases.

The new facilities will supply industrial gases to BPCL's Kochi Refinery, which is currently undergoing a $2.6 billion integrated expansion project that will increase its crude refining capacity to 15.5 million metric tons per annum (approximately 310,000 barrels per day). Under the agreement, Air Products will provide an innovative combination of the following plant technologies:

  • two steam methane reformer (SMR) trains combining to produce approximately 16.4 tonnes per hour (approximately 165 million standard cubic feet per day) of hydrogen to be used in the production of cleaner burning transportation fuels and petrochemicals;
  • a cryogenic syngas purification system to produce syngas, a mixture of purified hydrogen and carbon monoxide;
  • steam generated from Air Products' units for BPCL's manufacturing process;
  • an air separation unit to produce nitrogen and oxygen for the refinery and petrochemical complex; and
  • a gas turbine to produce power for the Air Products facilities.

"This important investment supports Air Products' commitment to the Indian market and will help to make BPCL's Kochi Refinery the largest and most viable public sector refinery in the country," said Howard Castle-Smith, regional vice president, Tonnage Gases Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. "The agreement also supports Air Products' strategy of supplying refineries with industrial gases as they continue to expand, and also as new grassroots refineries are built to meet growing energy demand. Once onstream, this location will become a benchmark reference facility in the region and demonstrate our technological and operational excellence." Castle-Smith added that this follows Air Products' well-established on-site business model of winning profitable projects by signing long-term agreements with reputable customers.

These efforts and other productivity improvements will help to improve the BPCL Kochi Refinery's conversion of heavy crude, allowing for the production of clean fuels to meet Euro IV/V specifications. It will also position BPCL and the petrochemicals facility for diversification into higher value-added petrochemicals. The plant configuration and deployed technologies support Air Products' overall sustainability goals of reducing energy consumption and emissions.

The new hydrogen facilities will be built through the global hydrogen alliance between Air Products and Technip, a world leader in project management, engineering and construction. The plant will feature the latest technology advancements to maximize energy efficiency and emissions reduction, and will include optimal heat integration, which in turn lowers feedstock consumption during production.

For 20 years the Air Products and Technip global alliance has provided the worldwide refining industry with competitive technology and world-class safety. The alliance is responsible for over 35 SMR hydrogen plants located in 11 countries around the world and produces well over two billion standard cubic feet of hydrogen per day for clean fuels production. Technip provides the design and construction expertise for steam reformers while Air Products provides the gas separation technology. Air Products, through its extensive operating network, and Technip, from its large reference base, also bring effective operational and engineering knowledge to "design-in" high reliability and efficiency. The plants are operated and maintained by Air Products under long-term agreements with customers.

Notes to editors:

Hydrogen's use in petroleum refining

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.

About the companies:

Air Products 
Air Products (APD) provides atmospheric, process and specialty gases; performance materials; equipment; and technology. For over 70 years, the company has enabled customers to become more productive, energy efficient and sustainable. More than 20,000 employees in over 50 countries supply innovative solutions to the energy, environment and emerging markets. These include semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, coal gasification, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. In fiscal 2012, Air Products had sales approaching $10 billion. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.

BPCL
BPCL is India's second largest public sector oil company and a Global Fortune 500 company with four domestic refineries, two of which, Kochi and Mumbai, are wholly owned. The company reported $41 billion in annual sales and total assets of $7.4 billion on their 2012 financial statements. It is listed on the Indian Stock exchange and is 54.9% owned by the Indian government. For more information, visit www.bharatpetroleum.in

Technip
Technip is a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry.

From the deepest Subsea oil & gas developments to the largest and most complex Offshore and Onshore infrastructures, our 38,000 people are constantly offering the best solutions and most innovative technologies to meet the world's energy challenges.

Present in 48 countries, Technip has state-of-the-art industrial assets on all continents and operates a fleet of specialized vessels for pipeline installation and subsea construction.

Technip shares are listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris exchange and traded in the USA on the OTCQX marketplace (TKPPY).

NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management's reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company's Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2012.

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