Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) today announced the start-up of its state-of-the-art 135 million standard cubic feet per day (scfd) hydrogen plant serving Valero’s St. Charles refinery in Norco, Louisiana, under a long-term supply agreement. Praxair is also scheduled to complete its 50-mile pipeline extension to the Valero and Motiva Enterprises LLC refineries in Norco in the fourth quarter of 2013. When complete, Praxair will have 85 miles of pipeline connecting the company’s five steam methane reformers (SMR) between Baton Rouge and New Orleans to meet growing customer demand in the lower Mississippi River corridor. Praxair’s St. Charles SMR supplies hydrogen and up to 450,000 pounds per hour of steam to Valero’s new 60,000 barrels-per-day hydrocracker. The hydrocracker produces 1.2 barrels of high-value, low-sulfur products for each barrel of high-sulfur feedstock. Hydrocrackers are used in the refining process to help produce high-demand premium transportation fuels that burn cleaner. “As petrochemical companies continue to make unprecedented investments in the lower Mississippi River corridor, Praxair is committed to supporting their growth through the expansion of our hydrogen supply and overall syngas capabilities in the region,” said Mike Jordan, vice president, U.S. Hydrogen. Praxair operates more than 50 hydrogen production facilities and seven hydrogen pipeline systems globally. Praxair’s refinery customers worldwide benefit from the company’s complete portfolio of large-volume industrial gases, cylinder gases and specialized refinery technologies and services. About Praxair Praxair, Inc., a Fortune 250 company with 2012 sales of $11 billion, is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies are making our planet more productive by bringing efficiency and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and many others. More information about Praxair, Inc. is available at www.praxair.com.