Air Products and NIPPON STEEL & SUMIKIN Pipeline & Engineering Co. Ltd. (NSPE) have signed an exclusive long-term relationship agreement to jointly pursue hydrogen (H2) fuelling station opportunities in Japan.

The two companies also executed a software agreement allowing NSPE to use Air Products’ proprietary H2 fuelling software at these stations incorporating Air Products’ H2 fuelling technology and equipment. The two signings advance prior cooperative work between the companies in the H2 fuelling market in Japan.

“H2 fuelling for vehicles in Japan continues to increase and NSPE is a well-respected company that we are both pleased and honoured to work with on these growing opportunities. These new agreements formalise the joint work we have continued with NSPE, since signing an earlier understanding. We see the market in Japan pushing for vehicle growth in both cars and public transportation buses and our experience and technology is positioned well with NSPE to meet this customer demand over the next several decades,” explained Ed Kiczek, Global Business Director – H2 Energy Systems at Air Products.

Norihisa Sogabe, Managing Director – Energy Pipeline & Plant Engineering Division at NSPE, added, “NSPE and Air Products have cooperatively carried out two unique projects so far, have respected each other’s high technology and engineering, and have a deep trust. This agreement was able to be concluded through these accumulations. The Japanese government has been planning to install 320 H2 fuelling stations and 200,000 FCVs by 2025, in Japan. We are greatly pleased that the combination of NSPE’s technologies and experiences, and Air Products’ unique advanced H2 fuelling technology including their software will enable us to significantly contribute to the implementation of those targets.”

The new long-term relationship agreement defines the exclusive cooperation between Air Products and NSPE in the design and construction of H2 fuelling stations in Japan for automobiles, trucks or lorries, and buses or coaches. It also governs collaborative efforts in the bidding and execution of future projects. NSPE will be the primary interface with the end-user and customer. The software agreement will help to facilitate NSPE’s performance under the long-term agreement to sell, construct, and support hydrogen fueling stations.

Air Products and NSPE had previously signed an agreement to explore working together on the H2 fuelling market in Japan in February 2014. The two companies commercialised their first H2 fuelling station in Japan in May 2016. Air Products’ H2 fuelling and biogas membrane technologies were integral to Japan’s first biomass-based H2 demonstration project, placed onstream in January 2017.