Governor, Air Products announce $4.5 billion Ascension Parish complex

Staff Report

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Air Products officials announced a $4.5 billion clean energy complex, the largest of its kind, to be built in the Burnside area of Ascension Parish.

"Today, I joined Air Products in announcing the company will develop a $4.5 billion clean energy complex in Ascension Parish, which will also be the world’s largest permanent carbon dioxide sequestration site," Edwards stated Oct. 14 in a social media post.

Edwards touted carbon capture and sequestration as important to Louisiana’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions while maintaining jobs and growing the state's manufacturing base.

"This project demonstrates our ability to grow our economy while lowering the carbon footprint of industry," the governor stated.

According to the company, the complex will make Louisiana a leader in the United States clean energy transition.

Air Products is an industrial gas company that produces and transports hydrogen and other essential industrial gases to many customer facilities in Louisiana, across the U.S. Gulf Coast and around the world.

The company said it will build, own, and operate the megaproject, which will produce more than 750 million standard cubic feet per day of blue hydrogen in Ascension Parish.

“Blue” products are produced utilizing hydrocarbons as a feedstock, with the carbon dioxide in the production process captured for permanent sequestration.

The company announced the project will create 170 permanent jobs with a total annual payroll of $15.9 million and more than 2,000 construction jobs over three years. It represents Air Products’ largest-ever investment in the U.S.

A portion of the blue hydrogen will be compressed and supplied to customers by Air Products’ extensive U.S. Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline network.

The network is the largest hydrogen pipeline system in the world, stretching more than 700-miles from Galveston Bay in Texas to New Orleans.

According to the company, this vast U.S. Gulf Coast pipeline network can supply customers with more than 1.6 billion cubic feet of hydrogen per day from about 25 production facilities, including blue hydrogen from Air Products’ Port Arthur, Texas facility.

The Port Arthur facility has captured about one million tons of CO2 annually since 2013, with the CO2 transported via pipeline and utilized for enhanced oil recovery operations. 

The balance of the blue hydrogen from the new Ascension Parish facility will be used to make blue ammonia that will be transported around the world and converted back to blue hydrogen for transportation and other markets.

The project will also feature the world’s largest instance of CO2 capture for permanent sequestration and produce only environmentally friendly blue products. It is expected to be operational in 2026.

“This is a major industrial investment that will create quality manufacturing jobs while limiting environmental impacts, a goal envisioned by my Climate Initiatives Task Force,” Gov. Edwards stated in a news release. “Carbon capture and sequestration are important to Louisiana’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions while maintaining jobs and growing our manufacturing base. This project is a clear demonstration of our ability to grow the Louisiana economy while lowering the carbon footprint of industry."

Air Products Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Seifi Ghasemi called it a "landmark megaproject" in the country's clean energy transition.

"Air Products is fully invested in and committed to projects that leverage our build-own-operate, technology, financial, and sustainability capabilities, and this project brings all of those core strengths together. We are very excited about the model this project represents in the broader energy transition and thank the state of Louisiana for its collaboration on the pore space to safely and permanently sequester the captured CO2. We look forward to building on our long partnership with Louisiana and constructing a facility that will serve as a leading example of clean energy production around the globe.” 

About 95 percent of the CO2 generated at the facility will be captured, compressed and transported safely by pipeline to multiple inland sequestration sites located along a pipeline corridor extending up to 35 miles to the east of the new production facility.

Over five million metric tons per year (MTPY) of CO2 will be permanently sequestered in geologic pore space secured from the State of Louisiana approximately one mile beneath the surface. Air Products has already received approval from the State Mineral and Energy Board, which is part of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, for the permanent sequestration of the CO2.  

Air Products will provide all of the complex’s products - blue hydrogen and co-products (liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen and liquid argon) - to customers in the U.S. and around the world.

“Ascension Parish is committed to being a leader in the new clean energy economy and values our continued relationship with Air Products,” Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment stated in a news release. “We appreciate their investment in industrial gas production using carbon capture and sequestration technology. This project will not only make a significant investment in our parish but will also add high-quality employment opportunities for the residents in our community.”

“The development of this large-scale clean hydrogen project highlights our strategic geographic assets as we position ourselves to become the clean energy capital of the U.S. Gulf Coast,” stated Kate MacArthur, president and CEO of the Ascension Economic Development Corp. “Investments from companies like Air Products are essential to reducing carbon pollution in a major and sustainable way.”

“The Capital Region is at the leading edge of the transitional energy sector, and Air Products’ decision to build one of the world’s largest low-carbon hydrogen projects here underscores that the talent, infrastructure, and business climate is turn-key for clean energy investments of a global scale,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “We congratulate our partners in Ascension Parish and look forward to working together to support Air Products.”

This new Louisiana clean energy megaproject announcement follows Air Products’ announcement in June 2021 of a multi-billion-dollar net-zero hydrogen energy complex in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and its previous announcement of the green ammonia production facility joint venture in NEOM, Saudi Arabia powered by renewable energy for the production and export of carbon-free hydrogen to global markets.

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. is an American international corporation. The company's principal business is selling gases and chemicals for industrial uses. Air Products' headquarters is in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania,