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News ReleaseAir Products to Supply Hydrogen and Infrastructure to Fuel Fleet of Fuel Cell Lift Trucks at New Illinois Grocery Distribution Center

December 11, 2008 Lehigh Valley, Pa.

Environmentally cleaner, more energy efficient, and providing enhanced operational performance on the job 24/7 is how users of hydrogen powered forklifts and materials handling equipment describe the new warehouse workhorse. The benefits of hydrogen powered vehicles over traditional units will be evidenced daily as Air Products (NYSE: APD), a global leader in hydrogen fueling infrastructure and technology, will install indoor hydrogen fueling infrastructure to fill a fleet of over 200 fuel cell powered lift trucks that will operate at Central Grocers’ new distribution center in Joliet, Illinois. Central Grocers’ new distribution center is expected to be operational by the end of the first quarter of 2009.

“The operational and environmental benefits of hydrogen powered materials handling management systems will be very evident from day one,” said Tom Joseph, business development manager for Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products. “Look no further than Joliet, Illinois for a true indication of the positive results of the hydrogen economy that many people have talked about. We are pleased to be collaborating with Plug Power at this site, and congratulate Central Grocers for its leadership in seeking alternative energy solutions.”

Air Products’ indoor hydrogen fueling dispenser and related infrastructure will fuel the fleet of new lift trucks supplied by Yale Equipment Services, located in Rosemont, Illinois and fitted with Plug Power’s (NASDAQ: PLUG) GenDriveTM hydrogen fuel cell power packs. Yale will service both the lift trucks and the GenDrive fuel cell units. Air Products’ fueling infrastructure will include outdoor liquid hydrogen storage and compression system, along with multiple indoor fueling dispensers for operator refueling. The GenDrive power units can be quickly refueled by the lift truck operator in less than two minutes. This completely eliminates the need to change, store, charge and maintain multiple lead acid batteries per lift truck.

“Central Grocers represents the first greenfield site to incorporate our GenDrive solution into its operations. Greenfield sites offer the potential for the greatest financial and operational benefits to our customers by eliminating the need for capital investments in batteries and the associated chargers, storage and changing systems,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power. “This purchase also helps Central Grocers green their supply chain as well as their business operations.”

There are many advantages to using hydrogen powered forklifts and other materials handling equipment. Hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment needs refueling only once or twice daily, depending on use. In contrast, traditional battery-powered equipment must be placed temporarily out of operation for battery replacement and required battery recharging usually every four to six hours. Hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment provides consistent power strength during use and do not have decreased performance or wear down as required battery change out and recharge time nears for traditional units. Further, hydrogen-powered fuel cell equipment is more environmentally friendly, without associated lead-acid battery storage and disposal issues.

Air Products, the leading supplier of merchant hydrogen to refineries to assist in making cleaner burning transportation fuels, has completed over 75,000 hydrogen fills and has placed over 90 hydrogen fueling stations in the United States and 15 countries worldwide. Cars, trucks, vans, buses, scooters, forklifts and other materials handling equipment, and even submarines, have been fueled as this trend-setting technology involving Air Products know-how, equipment, and hydrogen is being used increasingly at over 2,000 hydrogen fills per month. Air Products provides liquid and gaseous hydrogen, and HCNG (hydrogen/compressed natural gas) fueling at varied pressures and was the first company to provide 700 bar (10,000 psi) fueling. Hydrogen for these stations is delivered to a site via truck, by on-site natural gas reformation, and by electrolysis, wind and solar means.

Air Products has more than 50 years of hydrogen experience and is on the forefront of hydrogen energy technology development. Air Products has an extensive patent portfolio with over 50 patents in hydrogen dispensing technology. For more information on Air Products’ hydrogen fueling station technologies go to  

About Air Products

Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. Air Products has annual revenues of over $10 billion, operations in more than 40 countries, and 21,000 employees around the globe. Formore information, visit  

About Plug Power

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), an established leader in the development and deployment of clean, reliable on-site energy solutions, integrates fuel cell technology into motive, continuous and backup power products. The Company is actively engaged with private and public customers in targeted markets throughout the world. For more information about how to join Plug Power’s energy revolution as an investor, customer, supplier or strategic partner, please visit  

About Yale Materials Handling Corporation

Yale Materials Handling Corporation markets a full line of energy efficient materials handling lift truck products and services, including electric, gas, LP-gas and diesel powered lift trucks; narrow aisle, very narrow aisle and motorized hand trucks. All Yale® trucks are manufactured in plants meeting ISO 14000 environmental standards. Company engineers are researching and investing in new technologies to help make lift trucks more energy efficient. Yale is a market leader in the development of electric trucks designed to duplicate the performance of ICE trucks. Yale is also a market leader in the introduction of regenerative technology on electric trucks to help conserve energy. Yale® trucks are manufactured in ISO 9001:2000 registered facilities and range in capacity from 2,000 to 36,000 pounds. For more information, or to find the authorized Yale® lift truck dealer nearest you, call 1-800-233-YALE or visit  

NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary materially, due to changes in current expectations.

Plug Power Contact: 
Katrina Fritz Intwala
Tel: (518) 782-7700, ext. 1360

Plug Power Investor Contact: 
Cathy Yudzevich
Tel: (518) 782-7700, ext. 1448

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  • Press Contact
    Art George
    Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    7201 Hamilton Boulevard
    Allentown, PA 18195-1501
  • Investor Contact
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    (610) 481-7461
    Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    7201 Hamilton Boulevard
    Allentown, PA 18195-1501
    (610) 481-2729
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