Air Products, the US industrial gases and LNG equipment provider, said its joint venture in Saudi Arabia held a ceremonial ground-breaking to mark the start of work in building a world-class, fully-integrated industrial gases hub in the Jubail Industrial City.
The significant investment by Air Products and local partner Qudra Energy, involves building, owning and operating a world-scale steam methane reformer (SMR) to produce hydrogen.
There will also be an air separation unit (ASU) to produce oxygen and nitrogen, hydrogen pressure swing adsorption (PSA) units to recover hydrogen from off-gases and a pipeline networks will be installed to connect and transport industrial gases to the broad refinery and chemical customer base in the region.
Air Products, based in Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, conducts its industrial gases business alongside its provision of LNG equipment products such as the main cryogenic heat exchangers for plants and its proprietary propane pre-cooled mixed refrigerant liquefaction process.
Most of the worldwide LNG production comes from Air Products technology and the company provides key equipment for the natural gas liquefaction process for large export plants, small and mid-sized plants and floating LNG facilities.
The company is also involves in Chinese projects such as the Lu'An gasification project.
“It is an honor to be here and to witness the start of another world-scale project in the Kingdom,” said Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President and Chief Executive of Air Products.
“Air Products is leading the way in developing technologies and solutions that make a difference for our world,” added the CEO.
“These are our priorities and where we are focused. In collaboration with the Royal Commission, this investment in Jubail demonstrates that focus and is another example where we can bring Air Products’ full suite of capabilities in support of sustainable energy and chemicals production to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” explained Ghasemi.
Samir Serhan, Chairman of the Air Products Saudi venture and Executive Vice President for Air Products said the investment in Jubail is a continuation of operational leadership for large-scale energy projects throughout the Middle East region.
“This mega-project again showcases the core strengths and capabilities we bring to support the creation of a world-leading downstream sector in Saudi Arabia,” added Serhan.
Mohammad A. Abunayyan, Vice Chairman of Air Products Qudra and Chairman of Vision Invest and Qudra Energy, said that the venture continues to demonstrate its commitment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“We at Qudra Energy are proud of our partnership with Air Products, and we look forward to this and other investments to be undertaken through Air Products Qudra in the near future,” stated Abunayyan.
Air Products said that when fully built in 2023, the industrial gases hub will reliably serve the continued growth of Jubail Industrial City and support the growing prosperity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
It will also enable Jubail to achieve higher values for off-gases and introduce new technologies to convert low-value feedstocks into high-value products.
The SMR hydrogen production plant to be built, owned and operated by Air Products Qudra, will match the largest ever built by Air Products.
The plant, which will serve refineries and petrochemical industries to fulfil the growing demand in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia.
“The Jubail facility will include an ASU and PSAs and the location will serve as the pipeline hub for industrial gases to be supplied to individual customer connections in the region,” said the partners.
The investment includes building the second hydrogen fueling station in Saudi Arabia at the site.
Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil production company, and Air Products inaugurated the first hydrogen fueling station in Saudi Arabia at Air Products’ new Technology Center in the Dhahran Techno Valley Science Park in June 2019.