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Energy giant opening $250M plant in North Las Vegas

A French energy giant is set to hold a grand opening this month for a $250 million plant in North Las Vegas.

Air Liquide, which says its new facility in Apex Industrial Park is the largest hydrogen-production facility in the U.S., is slated to hold a ribbon-cutting event May 24.

The plant is expected to produce 30 tons of liquid hydrogen per day and supply “fuel cell” vehicles that are powered by hydrogen as opposed to gasoline.

Mike Graff, chairman and CEO of American Air Liquide Holdings, said in a statement to the Review-Journal that the plant is the company’s largest such project globally to supply hydrogen energy to the “mobility market.”

It will produce liquid hydrogen in North Las Vegas to meet the “growing demand” in California, Graff said, adding the plant has the capacity to supply more than 40,000 fuel cell vehicles in that state.

“While California’s mobility market matures, the plant allows for the sale of hydrogen to other customers in the region with a range of renewable and low-carbon options,” he said.

According to Graff, Air Liquide invested $250 million in the facility.

Like electric cars, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles use an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine, though instead of running on rechargeable batteries, fuel cell cars generate electricity by combining hydrogen gas from the fuel tank with oxygen from the air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Fuel cell cars are available from several automakers in select markets, primarily California, the agency says.

California has 47 hydrogen fueling stations, Hawaii has one, and every other state, including Nevada, has none, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Paris-based Air Liquide, which unveiled plans for the North Las Vegas facility in 2019, boasts a presence in 75 countries and around 66,400 employees.

Its U.S. headquarters are in Houston.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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