Air Liquide Japan is continuing to build out the hydrogen (H2) infrastructure in Japan after completing the construction of its new station in Kobe city.

Originally announced in November 2016, the new Shichinomiya site, which is the company’s fifth public use station in the North Pacific rim country, will start serving public fuel cell vehicles next week.

It is the first public use H2 station in Kobe City and the second for Hyogo Prefecture. It is also the westernmost station in the country’s Kinki region, further helping fuel cell vehicle (FCV) users navigate around Japan.

Air liquide japan cuts ribbon for new kobe hydrogen station

Source: Air Liquide Japan

Kobe H2 station in Japan opening ceremony.

The station’s footprint will be the smallest ever built by the Tier One player in Japan, as a model solution for major cities which tend to be constricted geographically. It will be able to recharge H2-powered electric vehicles in less than three minutes.

The site will utilise a compressed, offsite system, bringing high pressure H2 from sources in the Kansai area and adjusting its pressure to charge H2-powered vehicles.

Kobe Shichinomiya Station was designed and installed by the Japanese outfit of the industrial gas corporation, and follows the completion of two stations in Aichi through a joint venture with Toyota Tsusho Corporation, one in Saga built in 2016, and one in Fukuoka which was opened earlier this month.

Air Liquide Japan’s President and CEO Shiro Yahara commented, “This project is a good illustration of our intention to contribute to the development of H2 energy, a promising solution to the preservation of our future environment, capitalising on the group’s expertise and innovation in H2.”

He added that the compact station should help solve geographical constraints around the deployment of H2 stations in urban areas.

To date, Air Liquide has designed and installed a total of 75 H2 charging stations worldwide.