Air Products (NYSE:APD) – a world-leading industrial gas company has made an announcement that will accelerate hydrogen production. The company announced it has recently been awarded several contracts from NASA for the supply of liquid hydrogen that total more than $130 million.
The hydrogen public contracts are for several NASA locations. One is NASA’s operations at the Kennedy Space Center and nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The contract is for several years and is already in effect. Its value is estimated at around $75 million.
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Another contract comes at a maximum value of over $57 million to supply liquid hydrogen to facilities across the agency including NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and the Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
The fuel, combined with liquid oxygen, will be used in cryogenic rocket engines, as hydrogen when ignited provides the most powerful blast. Liquid hydrogen in combination with liquid oxygen has been the fuel of choice for NASA for its space exploration missions. It yields the highest specific impulse or efficiency in relation to the amount of propellant consumed than any other rocket fuel.
Air Products has continually supplied the US Space Program and the agency with liquid hydrogen and other industrial gases since 1957.
“Air Products has a long history of working with NASA, stretching from the very beginning of the United States’ space program, to the Apollo 11 moon landing, and to the more recent missions to study Mars… We are proud to provide NASA with the industrial gases they need for their important work and look forward to continuing our many decades-long working relationship with the US space program,” said Francesco Maione, Air Products’ President, Americas.
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Air Products is the largest producer of hydrogen in the world. Currently, it has over 110 hydrogen facilities and produces mainly gray hydrogen, a process that carries a heavy carbon footprint.
The company has announced a couple of commitments that mark its expansion into green energy. They include a $4.5 billion clean energy complex in Louisiana, a $1.6 billion CAD ($1.18bn) net-zero energy hydrogen energy complex in Edmonton, Canada, a multi-billion dollar investment in NEOM, Saudi Arabia to build a large-scale green hydrogen production facility, an investment of $500 million to build a green hydrogen production facility in New York.
Back in December 2022, Air Products has also announced a $4 billion joint venture with AES to build the largest green hydrogen production facility in the United States in Texas.