APD to build second hydrogen facility in California
On January 7, Air Products and Chemicals (APD) announced that it plans to build a second liquid hydrogen plant in California. The decision came on the back of the increase in demand from various consumer markets, specifically from the growing demand for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. APD also said the project development work is already underway and expects the plant to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2019. However, APD did not specify the financial aspects of building the plant.
Liquefied hydrogen is used in several industries like electronics, material handling, float glass, edible fats and oils, chemical and petrochemical, and so on. In September 2018, APD announced its plan to build a liquid hydrogen plant in La Porte, Texas.
Marie Folkes, APD’s president for the Americas segment, said, “Current customer demand for liquid hydrogen is driving the need for this new investment as we are experiencing growth from many traditional market segments, for which a reliable source of this product is vitally important. Additionally, this new capacity will be available for the steadily increasing demand from hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.”
APD stock declined 1.0% and closed at $159.93. The decline in the stock price pushed the stock to trade 0.8% below its 100-day moving average price of $161.31. In 2018, APD declined by 2.5% and outperformed the S&P 500. With several projects scheduled to be commissioned in 2019, APD’s growth path looks intact.
Investors can indirectly hold APD by investing in the iShares U.S. Basic Materials ETF (IYM). IYM invests 6.2% of its portfolio in APD. The fund also provides exposure to DowDuPont (DWDP), Linde (LIN), and LyondellBasell (LYB) with weights of 21.8%, 14.9%, and 4.70%, respectively, as of January 7, 2019.