LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- When Air Products (NYSE: APD) dedicated its Gulf Coast Connection Pipeline (GCCP) project just weeks ago, company representatives talked about the benefits for new customers in need of reliable and flexible hydrogen supply to connect to the world's largest hydrogen plant and pipeline supply network. Those statements were demonstrated today as Air Products announced a new long-term hydrogen supply agreement with OCI Beaumont LLC in Beaumont, Texas. Air Products, the leading global hydrogen provider, will supply approximately 25 million standard cubic feet per day of hydrogen, effective immediately, via the GCCP and Gulf Coast hydrogen system for OCI Beaumont's integrated methanol and ammonia plant. OCI Beaumont is a subsidiary of OCI Fertilizer ( Netherlands), one of the European market leaders in the production of mineral fertilizers and the world's largest producer of melamine. "We had supplied OCI Beaumont with hydrogen since their start up late last year, but the new extended and increased supply contract opportunity was solidified with our Gulf Coast pipeline capabilities. Reliability and flexible supply are of the utmost importance to customers and we believe OCI Beaumont recognized the strength of our pipeline offering in making its supplier decision. We are pleased to have expanded this relationship with OCI Beamont," said Wilbur Mok, Air Products' vice president - North American Tonnage Gases. Air Products' Gulf Coast pipeline stretches 600 miles 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 the new 180-mile segment. The pipeline span is fed by over 20 Air Products hydrogen production facilities. The pipeline is monitored by Air Products' new Operations Service Center (OSC) and Customer Service Center (CSC) in Pasadena, Texas. Working hand-in-hand, the OSC oversees the daily production at Air Products' plants, and the CSC works with customers and communicates with the OSC on product supply needs. The centers support most of Air Products' North America industrial gas facilities and the new pipeline to meet customer demand and operate its industrial facilities safely and efficiently. 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.