Air Products has reached an agreement to purchase five hydrogen steam methane reformer (SMR) plants from PBF Energy (Parsippany, New Jersey) for $530 million and will supply hydrogen from those already operating plants to PBF refineries under a long-term agreement.
The SMR units, with a combined nearly 300 million standard cubic feet/day of production capacity, are in Torrance and Martinez, California, and Delaware City, Delaware. The deal is targeted to close during the quarter ending 30 June. Air Products said it will disclose additional detail about the transaction on its next quarterly earnings call, scheduled for 23 April.
“This puts us in an outstanding financial position to execute our strategy of investing in long-term onsite deals, which includes asset acquisitions like the one we are announcing today,” said Seifi Ghasemi, chairman and CEO at Air Products. “With this acquisition, not only do we gain five SMR plants, but we also secure a long-term hydrogen sale of gas agreement with an existing customer who is one of the largest independent refiners in North America.”
Air Products currently operates 12 industrial gas facilities in California, which includes five hydrogen production plants. The SMR unit being purchased in Delaware City would be Air Products’s first major asset operating in Delaware. Linde in 2018 had signed an agreement with PBF to build, own, and operate a hydrogen plant at Delaware City that will supply 25 million standard cubic feet/day of hydrogen to PBF. The Linde plant is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter.
PBF says the move, along with cutbacks in spending, reductions in refinery throughput, and the suspension of dividends, is part of its strategy to "navigate current extraordinary and volatile markets," during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
PBF's refineries in New Jersey, Delaware, Louisiana, Ohio, and California are operating at minimum rates, the company says, with throughput about 30% lower than forecast. Previously, guidance for first-quarter 2020 put throughput at 345,000?365,000 b/d for PBF's East Coast refineries; 95,000?105,000 b/d for the midcontinent; 165,000?175,000 b/d for the Gulf Coast; and 260,000?280,000 b/d for the West Coast.
Last week, Phillips 66 confirmed cutbacks in its 13-refinery system, citing demand destruction of 20% overall for the US.
PBF says it has reduced capital expenditures by $240 million, representing a 35% reduction versus the previous guidance and a 45% cut in projected expenditure for the remainder of 2020. PBF has also suspended its quarterly dividend of 30 cents/share to preserve $35 million of cash each quarter.
[출처] Chemical week. 2020.03.30