Garyville: Governor Bobby Jindal and Air Products and Chemicals Inc. Senior Vice President Steve Jones announced the completion of $1 billion in project investments in Louisiana over the past four years that have tripled the production capacity of the largest hydrogen pipeline network system in the world. Air Products built and brought on-stream four major hydrogen plants along the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge, La., to the greater New Orleans area, boosting vital hydrogen supply to Louisiana’s refinery and petrochemical sectors.
The project created 32 new direct jobs with an average salary of $80,000 per year, plus benefits, across the four hydrogen gas facilities in Louisiana. LED estimates the project will result in an additional 124 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 150 new jobs in the state. Air Products also retained 308 existing jobs in Louisiana, and the company’s new hydrogen projects created 1,600 construction jobs. The 600-mile hydrogen pipeline runs from the Houston Ship Channel in Texas to major industrial customers in the New Orleans region.
Gov. Jindal said, “Air Products’ ongoing commitment to Louisiana through the completion of the world’s largest hydrogen pipeline system across our state demonstrates the strategic value of Louisiana’s world-scale energy infrastructure and our emergence as one of the very best business climates in our nation. This project adds great value to our energy sector and continues the energy renaissance that is happening here in our state. Air Products’ multibillion-dollar investment in Louisiana since 1965 has supported a highly skilled workforce both for the company and its many refinery and petrochemical customers. This investment will continue driving our economy for years to come, and we’re proud Air Products chose to expand and invest in our state.”
Air Products supplies atmospheric, process and specialty gases; performance materials; and equipment and technology for effective solutions to energy, environmental and emerging-market challenges. Those markets include semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, coal gasification, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives in more than 50 countries.
“Air Products’ hydrogen production facilities are integral to the continued operations of the refinery and petrochemical industries and its tens of thousands of jobs in Louisiana,” Jones said. “Air Products substantially expanded its hydrogen supply capability and significantly expanded our hydrogen pipeline network, which is the largest in the world and now runs from Houston to Lake Charles, La., to New Orleans. We have an absolute need to be close to our customers, and along with working closely with the refinery and petrochemical industry around the world, a large portion of our refinery hydrogen business is in the Gulf Coast and specifically in Louisiana. We’ve grown our presence with our customers and continue to look for additional investment and business opportunities in the state. The encouragement and support of Louisiana elected and commerce officials have been a benefit to us along the way, and we have greatly appreciated it.”
Air Products, which supplies the majority of Louisiana’s refineries, operates 19 facilities in Louisiana, including the four new steam methane reformer plants constructed in Baton Rouge, Garyville, Norco and Luling. The construction phase began in 2009 and is concluding with the commissioning of the Norco hydrogen plant this spring. Air Products is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Enterprise Zone and Industrial Tax Exemption Program incentives.
“We are extremely pleased about Air Products’ new investment and the new career opportunities it will create for our residents,” said St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom. “Industry is the backbone of St. John the Baptist Parish, and this investment will further enhance economic development in the parish and foster a stronger relationship with a great community partner.”
“Air Products has been an active and valued member of the Louisiana chemical industry for many decades,” said Executive Vice President Greg Bowser of the Louisiana Chemical Association. “The expansion of their hydrogen production and supply network is a testament to the skills and dedication of their people. This substantial investment by Air Products reinforces their commitment to their customers and provides a critical infrastructure supporting the growth of our industry.”
“BRAC welcomes the continued investment of Air Products, which has positive impacts across our state and region,” said President and CEO Adam Knapp of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “Their commitment demonstrates our region’s competitive advantage in the chemical manufacturing sector, a target sector for the Baton Rouge area.”
“Greater New Orleans Inc. is pleased to join Governor Jindal and Air Products to dedicate this major investment in a world-scale hydrogen pipeline and production system across our region and the state,” said GNO Inc. President and CEO Michael Hecht. “Air Products is the archetype for industrial expansion in Louisiana – a great company, making a large investment, with the long-term commitment of the entire region and state.”