Mexico decrees temporary occupation of hydrogen plant of French company Air Liquide
TULA, HGO - The Mexican government decreed the temporary occupation of a hydrogen plant operated by the French company Air Liquide inside the refinery of the state oil company Pemex in Tula, in the center of the country, alleging that it is of public utility.
The decree, signed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, states that the plant should be occupied "immediately" by Pemex's industrial arm, known as Pemex TRI.
Pemex partnered with Air Liquide in 2017 for the latter to supply it with hydrogen for 20 years, in an attempt by the then Mexican government to reduce costs for the state-owned oil company.
In the contract at the time, it was agreed that Air Liquide would operate the refinery's existing plant and invest in a second plant to supply the total hydrogen required for expansion projects at the refinery in Tula, in Hidalgo state, one of Pemex's largest.
According to the decree published in the Official Gazette, the payment made by Pemex for the hydrogen "increases the costs of supplying hydrogen at low levels of crude processing", which is not profitable for the state-owned company.
It also states that Pemex TRI will have to cover the compensation required by law, but does not detail the amount of such compensation.
Air Liquide did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.