Air Products and Nippon Steel and Sumkin Pipeline & Engineering Co today jointly announced the signing of an agreement signifying the intent of the two companies to work together on Japan’s developing hydrogen fuelling infrastructure market.

The agreement also discusses the objective of finalising a long-term marketing and supply relationship agreement between the US and Tokyo, Japan-based companies.

“This agreement is an important step for both Air Products and NSPE in gaining entrance to Japan’s hydrogen fueling market.  Japan is being progressive in their intent to develop a hydrogen fuelling infrastructure and is one of the early markets where automobile manufacturers have announced plans to deploy vehicles. We are pleased to be working with NSPE and greatly value their engineering and operations expertise, as well as their knowledge of the Japan markets.  Combined with our leadership and experience in this field, together we can meet this developing market’s needs with proven technology,” said Ed Kiczek, global business director – Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products.

Kiczek added that Air Products has operated in Japan since 1970, and will work through its established wholly-owned subsidiary, Air Products Japan, on hydrogen fueling opportunities.

“We are convinced that this agreement will be a valuable first step for Japan as it heads toward the realisation of hydrogen society, as well as for Air Products and NSPE. The Japanese government has been planning to install 100 hydrogen fueling stations by 2015, and also 1,000 by 2025 in the country, aiming at the dissemination of FCVs. We are greatly pleased that the combination of NSPE’s technologies and experiences accumulated in the natural gas and LNG sector over many years, and Air Products’ unique advanced hydrogen fuelling technology will enable us to significantly contribute to the implementation of those targets,” said Takashi Takeuchi, managing director – Marketing and Business Development.

As part of the final agreement to be formalised, Air Products will provide SmartFuel® hydrogen fuelling station technology and the fuelling protocol license, infrastructure engineering and design, while NSPE will provide engineering, construction, and adapt the technology for the Japanese market.  NSPE and Air Products Japan will jointly work with customers in the automotive fueling market.

Air Products’ SmartFuel® hydrogen fueling stations provide hydrogen fuelling at 700 bar (10,000 psi) and include Air Products’ patented technology to practice the SAE J2601 fuelling protocol. Air Products has available several SmartFuel® fuelling station concepts incorporating modular and expandable technology and holds an entire portfolio of global patents, with additional patents pending related to “compressionless hydrogen fuelling station” advancements. Details on Air Products’ hydrogen fueling station technologies can be viewed at www.airproducts.com/h2energy