Air Liquide Invests in US Liquid Hydrogen Plant
Air Liquide is planning to invest more than $150 million in a new liquid hydrogen plant in the western US. The French industrial gases group said it will be the first world-scale hydrogen facility dedicated to the fuel market.
The company has also signed a long-term agreement with FirstElement Fuel (FEF), a provider of retail hydrogen fuel infrastructure, to supply the gas to FEF’s fueling stations in the US state of California. A further agreement between the two companies will see Air Liquide make an equity investment in FEF, following previous support to the California energy company by automakers Toyota and Honda.
The plant will have a capacity of nearly 30 t/d, which Air Liquide said could fuel 35,000 fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and provide a reliable supply to the 40,000 FCEVs expected to be used in California by 2022. Construction is expected to begin in early 2019 – a start-up date for the plant was not given.
Describing the project as a “transitional moment” for the hydrogen automobile market, Joel Ewanick, founder and CEO of FEF, said: “Air Liquide is bringing significant private investment to build a key piece for growing California’s hydrogen network. It’s yet another indication of the momentum for hydrogen as a replacement for gasoline.”