Praxair to build hydrogen plants

DANBURY, Conn., Oct. 25, 2001 — In response to an increased demand for hydrogen by refining customers, Praxair, Inc. plans to build two world-class hydrogen plants along its U.S. Gulf Coast pipeline system.

The combined estimated capacity of the plants will be 200 million cubic feet per day. The first startup is scheduled for late 2003, subject to a number of regulatory reviews.

“Demand for hydrogen for refining has grown by 10 to 15 percent per year over the past five years and we expect this rate to increase based on the need for clean-burning, low-sulfur gasoline and diesel fuels,” said Praxair’s chairman and CEO, Dennis Reilley. “In addition, the shift by refiners to heavier, higher-sulfur crudes will also increase hydrogen demand.”

“Gulf Coast refineries are world-class facilities and are strategically located to be a key, long-term source for nearly 50 percent of all fuels consumed in the United States,” Reilley said. “Praxair’s 300-mile Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline system is already connected to a substantial portion of this refining capacity. This investment is designed to meet the growing need for hydrogen and to provide the supply system with the reliability and flexibility demanded by our Gulf Coast refinery customers.”

Praxair supplies a complete portfolio of large-volume industrial gases, cylinder gases and specialized services to its refinery customers and is a supplier of hydrogen worldwide. It operates 22 steam methane reformers and seven major hydrogen pipeline systems that deliver over 500 million cubic feet per day (14 million cubic meters) of hydrogen to more than 50 refineries and petrochemical plants.

Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2000 sales of $5 billion. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric and process gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technology bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, food and beverage, healthcare, semiconductor materials, steel, chemicals and refining, metal fabrication, water treatment, glass and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com