Work Will Leverage Air Products’ U.S. Material Handling Market Experience
February 19, 2015 Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Air Products (NYSE: APD) and Suzuki Shokan Co., Ltd. today jointly announced the signing of an “Alliance Agreement” for the two companies to work together on the design, construction and operation of hydrogen fueling stations for use in fueling the material handling vehicle market in Japan. Air Products and Suzuki Shokan, an industrial gas company based in Tokyo, Japan, will take Air Products’ proven hydrogen fueling technology and work jointly to make any needed infrastructure modifications in order to meet Japanese laws and regulations. As part of the Alliance, the companies also agreed to a standard Equipment, Engineering and License for Suzuki Shokan’s purchase and use of key equipment to be supplied by Air Products for the implementation of Air Products’ SmartFuel® hydrogen fueling station technology.
“We have a great deal of experience supporting the material handling market with hydrogen fueling technology and related infrastructure. This Alliance with Suzuki Shokan is a tremendous opportunity to work with a recognized leader in the Japanese industrial gas market to serve the material handling industry in that region of the world. Japan’s keen interest in hydrogen fueling for the automotive market provides a natural extension to hydrogen fueling for material handling. Working with Suzuki Shokan, we can meet the needs of this market,” said Ed Kiczek, global business director – Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products. Kiczek added that the Alliance is already in discussion with multiple high-profile customers for the first deployment.
“We believe that the execution of this agreement is a significant step towards the upcoming hydrogen society. Suzuki Shokan possesses hydrogen handling technology and know-how through a long history of supplying the hydrogen business. Such technology and know-how includes engineering, equipment and parts design, construction of piping and knowledge about laws and safety regulations. It is our understanding that fully utilizing such technology, know-how, nationwide sales and marketing resources acquired in our long history, in conjunction with Air Products’ most advanced technology, will make fuel cell powered forklifts steadily accepted by the Japanese market,” said Yoji Koguchi, managing director in charge of Toyota Factory.
Koguchi added that the driving power for the material handling vehicle (forklift) market in Japan is being shifted from internal combustion engines to batteries which are considered environmentally cleaner. Development and practical use of fuel cells in material handling applications have already started in the country.
A leader in providing hydrogen fueling and the related infrastructure to the material handling market, Air Products’ SmartFuel® technology is safely fueling over 2,500 pieces of material handling equipment on a daily basis in the U.S. Air Products is currently supplying over 20 material handling sites in the U.S. and is dispensing hydrogen indoors at nearly 70 dispensers, with some of these units dispensing hydrogen over 100 times per day. Air Products has been fueling material handling units at industrial manufacturers, food distribution warehouses and automotive manufacturing plants since 2007. Details on Air Products’ material handling fueling can be found at: www.airproducts.com/h2forklift.
There are many advantages to using hydrogen-powered forklifts and material handling equipment. Hydrogen-powered equipment can be quickly refueled in just minutes, only needs refueling once or twice daily depending on use, and does not require change-out downtime, while traditional battery-powered equipment is taken out of operation for battery replacement or recharging approximately every four to six hours. Hydrogen-powered equipment provides consistent power during use and does not experience decreased performance or wear down as battery units do when nearing change-out or recharge time. Additionally, unlike battery-powered forklifts, hydrogen-powered fuel cells are not adversely impacted by temperature when operating in coolers and freezers. Further, hydrogen-powered equipment is more environmentally friendly and does not involve lead-acid battery storage or disposal issues.
Air Products has operated in Japan since 1970. The agreement with Suzuki Shokan also marks Air Products’ second with a Japanese company pertaining to hydrogen fueling. Air Products and NIPPON STEEL & SUMIKIN Pipeline & Engineering Co. Ltd. in 2014 announced an agreement signifying the intent of the two companies to work together on Japan’s developing hydrogen fueling infrastructure market for automotive customers.
Air Products, the leading global supplier of hydrogen to refineries to assist in producing cleaner burning transportation fuels, has vast experience in the hydrogen fueling industry. In fact, several sites today for certain hydrogen fueling applications are fueling at rates of over 75,000 refills per year. Use of the company’s fueling technology is increasing and is over 1,000,000 hydrogen fills per year. The company has been involved in over 180 hydrogen fueling projects worldwide. Cars, trucks, vans, buses, scooters, forklifts, locomotives, planes, cell towers, material handling equipment, and even submarines have been fueled with trend-setting Air Products technologies. Details on Air Products’ hydrogen fueling station technologies can be viewed at www.airproducts.com/h2energy.
Air Products has more than 60 years of hydrogen experience and an extensive patent portfolio in hydrogen dispensing technology. Air Products provides liquid and gaseous hydrogen and a variety of enabling devices and protocols for fuel dispensing at varied pressures. Hydrogen for these stations can be delivered to a site via truck or pipeline, produced by natural gas reformation, biomass conversion, or by electrolysis, including electrolysis driven by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE:APD) is a leading industrial gases company. For nearly 75 years, the company has provided atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and related equipment to manufacturing markets including metals, food and beverage, refining and petrochemical, and natural gas liquefaction. Air Products’ materials technologies segment serves the semiconductor, polyurethanes, cleaning and coatings, and adhesives industries. Over 20,000 employees in 50 countries are working to make Air Products the world’s safest and best performing industrial gases company, providing sustainable offerings and excellent service to all customers. In fiscal 2014, Air Products had sales of $10.4 billion and was ranked number 276 on the Fortune 500 annual list of public companies. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
About Suzuki Shokan
Suzuki Shokan, the first high pressure gas company in Japan founded in 1905, is about to celebrate its 110th anniversary on March 15, 2015.
The company has been supplying high pressure gases to various industries, hospitals, R & D laboratories and Universities. Its business also includes such neighboring areas as chemicals, machinery and equipment, air conditioning related materials, as well as cryogenic and superconducting equipment.
In the FCV (fuel cell vehicle) industry, the company provides parts and equipment for a variety of pressures ranging from very low up to 100 Mpa. The company also provides services that test various parts in the actual hydrogen environment in order to prove safety and durability upon customer’s request. For the more information, visit www.suzukishokan.co.jp.
NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company’s Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2014.