Air Liquide will build the first world scale liquid hydrogen production unit dedicated to the hydrogen energy markets, located in the western U.S., and has signed a long-term agreement with FirstElement Fuel Inc (FEF) to supply hydrogen to FEF’s retail liquid hydrogen fueling stations in California. These new commitments will serve the growing needs of the hydrogen mobility market in this state and help enable and complement the deployment of fuel cell vehicles and support the hydrogen merchant market in the region.
Air Liquide expects to invest over $150 million to build the plant, with construction to begin in early 2019. The site will have a capacity of nearly 30 tons of hydrogen per day — an amount that can fuel 35,000 fuel cell vehicles. Through this investment, Air Liquide will enable the large-scale deployment of hydrogen mobility on the west coast, providing a reliable supply solution to fuel the 40,000 vehicles expected to be deployed in California by 2022. The plant will also support other fuel cell vehicle and transportation markets in the region, such as material handling and forklifts and heavy duty trucks.
The new plant is the first large scale investment into the supply chain infrastructure needed to support hydrogen energy solutions for the energy transition, starting with transport and mobility. The pace of fuel cell vehicle deployment has now reached a level requiring a growing scale of investment and is paving the way for the growth of zero emission mobility in other geographies.
In addition to the long-term supply agreement, Air Liquide and FEF have entered into an agreement outlining Air Liquide’s intent to make an equity investment in FEF, following previous assistance to the company by Toyota and Honda. With these agreements, Air Liquide also builds upon its existing collaborations with Toyota and Honda to further enable a robust hydrogen fueling infrastructure and, along with others, bolster the deployment of fuel cell vehicles and the retail fueling network in California.
Michael Graff, Executive Vice President & Executive Committee Member of L’Air Liquide S.A. and Chairman & CEO of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc., said: “This new investment in hydrogen production and our collaborative relationship with FirstElement Fuel, further demonstrate our long-term commitment to the development of hydrogen energy for mobility, and accelerate the deployment of new hydrogen fuel cell vehicles — cars, trucks, buses — planned by automotive manufacturers like Toyota, Honda and other leading OEMs.”
Source: Air Liquide