The President of Iwatani, Akiji Makino, speaks about a 10-year deal with Praxair and his company’s investment in the future of the liquid hydrogen market.

Akiji Makino, president of Iwatani, is understood to be “energetic” following his company securing a 10-year deal with Praxair for the supply of helium – according to The Gas Review (TGR).

Despite the U.S. currently having considerable issues with reserves of the gas, the deal between Iwatani and Praxair has received praise.

Speaking about the contract, Akiji Makino stated, “I think it’s great news that we have been able to enter into this agreement with Praxair for the next 10 years.”

“In the US there is a shale gas boom happening and, in the long-term, helium sources are going to be reduced.”

“However, we could be able to obtain 5% of the global share of helium is the Qatar helium contract we have also signed starts production next year. This would be enough to cover practically the entire demand of Japan.”

Akiji Makino was quick to clarify that Iwatani is not thinking of bringing the entire amount into Japan.

He is, however, hoping that he could “help out Praxair” depending on supply and demand.

“We’re building helium filling stations in Jiaxing, in China, and in Malaysia to supply the Asian region,” said Akiji Makino.

In addition to constructing more filing stations, Iwatani has already placed an order for 10 helium containers with the U.S. firm Gardener Cryogenics.

Reflecting on the business deals secured by Iwatani, Akiji Makino said, “This is the third time that I have signed a 10 year contract with Praxair.”

Elsewhere the Iwatani company also made positive steps in investing in the “future of the liquid hydrogen business”.

The liquid hydrogen business could be considered as the lifetime work of the president of Iwatani. A new plant, called Yamaguchi Liquid Hydrogen, is scheduled to begin production in the autumn.

This will be the third liquid hydrogen plant for the company. But there is no sign of three being enough.

“The reason we are moving along with the liquid hydrogen business is not to get a share of the market,” stated Akiji Makino.

“This is an investment for the future of hydrogen – as an energy. And with that in mind, three plants are still just not enough.”