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Air Products' Pipeline, Operations And Customer Service Centers Focus Of Texas Event

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The integrated relationship between Air Products' (NYSE: APD) new pipeline, and Operations and Customer Service Centers, and their importance to supply chain management was explained to guests assembled for a dedication event held today at Air Products' Pasadena, Texas facility. Air Products recently completed its Gulf Coast Connection Pipeline (GCCP) project, the world's largest hydrogen plant and pipeline supply network, and began operating its new Customer Service Center at Pasadena in 2012.

"Our Operations Service Center (OSC) and Customer Service Center (CSC) work hand-in-hand. The OSC oversees the daily production at our plants, and the CSC works with customers and communicates with the OSC on product need and when to supply it. The Centers support most of our North America industrial facilities and also our new 600-mile Gulf Coast pipeline. The Centers are very important resources both in meeting customer demand and operating our industrial facilities safely and efficiently," Wilbur Mok, Air Products' vice president‒North American Tonnage Gases, told the audience at the Pasadena event.

Air Products, the leading global hydrogen provider, formally dedicated its GCCP this week. The pipeline stretches from the Houston Ship Channel in Texas to New Orleans, Louisiana. In August it began supplying over 1.2 billion cubic feet of hydrogen per day to refinery and petrochemical customers. Air Products had operated two hydrogen pipeline systems in Texas and Louisiana before joining them with a new 180-mile segment. The 600-mile pipeline span is fed by over 20 Air Products hydrogen production facilities.

"The benefits of the pipeline for customers are already evident. The most recent hurricane showed we can deliver hydrogen from Texas to meet customer demand in Louisiana. We've also signed new business for increased product supply that allows hydrogen in the pipeline to be directed to multiple customer locations in the both states. The pipeline is truly a competitive advantage for us, and a source of comfort in terms of supply reliability and flexibility for our customers," said Jeff Byrne, vice president and general manager‒Tonnage Gases at Air Products.

Air Products had established a new website specifically tracking the progress on the GCCP project from its inception. The website detailed several metrics on the project and challenges faced. Some of this information included:
  • Designing and developing a feasible route minimizing impacts to local governments, communities, the environment, and strictly adhering to Air Products' critical safety requirements.
  • Securing 1,085 permanent landowner right-of-ways and over 300 temporary agreements.
  • Obtaining numerous environmental permits and hundreds of non-environmental permits.
  • Overcoming numerous construction challenges including three U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood protection levees within the Atchafalaya Basin Swamp, and rivers, streams and highway crossings, as well as managing the multiple changes to the design route and securing permit addendums as a result.
  • Completing over 100,000 feet of directional drilling.
  • Conducting more than 25,000 welds.
  • Installing more than 24,000 pipe sections that were each 40 feet in length.

Globally, Air Products' hydrogen pipeline operational expertise is evidenced by the 40 year safe operation of its network of systems. Pipelines offer a safe, robust and reliable supply of hydrogen to the refinery and petrochemical industry around the world. In addition to the Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline system, Air Products also has hydrogen pipeline networks operating around the world in the U.S. in Southern California; in Canada in Sarnia, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta; and in The Netherlands in Rotterdam.

Hydrogen is widely used in petroleum refining processes to remove impurities found in crude oil such as sulfur, olefins and aromatics to meet the 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.

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