Air Products and Suzuki Shokan Co., Ltd. (an industrial gas company based in Tokyo) have signed an “Alliance Agreement” to work together on the design, construction and operation of hydrogen stations for use in fueling the material handling vehicle market in Japan. They will take Air Products’ technology and work jointly to make any needed infrastructure modifications in order to meet Japanese regulations. The companies also agreed to a standard Equipment, Engineering and License for Suzuki Shokan’s purchase and use of key equipment 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. 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. In conjunction with Air Products’ advanced technology, this 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.
Source: Air Products