LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., Feb. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Air Products' (NYSE: APD) introduces another novel fueling supply concept as the industry leader in hydrogen fueling technology tomorrow when it officially begins commercial fueling of a fleet of 25 hydrogen-powered forklifts at Kimberly-Clark Corporation's (NYSE: KMB) 450,000-square-foot distribution facility in Graniteville, S.C. The facility, located in Sage Mill Industrial Park, is managed by GENCO ATC, North America's second largest and a Global Top 50 third-party logistics provider.
The hydrogen fueling station and its location allows several parties to benefit from the alternative energy effort and establish the nation's first multi-use industrial park fueling station to supply hydrogen from a single supply source directly for industrial, commercial and government use. In addition to GENCO ATC, Kimberly-Clark and Air Products, project members also included Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq: PLUG) and the Aiken-Edgefield Economic Development Partnership. Aiken County government in South Carolina will use the fueling station to fuel two hydrogen powered shuttle bus vehicles and a hydrogen-powered pick-up truck as part of its local transportation system.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony and technology demonstration will take place inside the Kimberly-Clark facility on Friday, February 11, 2011 at 11 a.m. and will feature several speakers.
"This project is a great example of how hydrogen fueling stations can benefit multiple users and differing types of vehicles at the same time. In real estate the saying is, 'location, location, location' -- and in this instance the location enables multiple parties to fill vehicles from a single supply system, and also provides the potential for other parties in this industrial park to tie into the station's hydrogen supply. All parties involved in this project should be pleased with this infrastructure model and we thank Kimberly-Clark, GENCO and the Economic Development Partnership for their leadership roles," said Bruce Luff, business development manager for Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products.
Luff added that Air Products' hydrogen fueling technology is currently being used to fuel over 750 material handling vehicles at several locations in the United States. Details on Air Products' portfolio of hydrogen fueling station technologies are provided at: www.airproducts.com/h2energy.
"GENCO ATC is committed to green technology initiatives that are viable, equitable and sustainable for our customers and our company," said Herb Shear, chairman and CEO, GENCO ATC. "Hydrogen fuel cells represent the best in energy innovation as a sustainable, productive and clean alternative to lead-acid batteries."
The fueling station and hydrogen fuel cells that power the forklifts and vehicles were made possible through the use of $1.1 million of a $6.1 million cost-share award to GENCO ATC by the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help accelerate the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cells.
"Kimberly-Clark is constantly looking for innovative ways to minimize the impact of our operations on the environment," said Rick Sather, vice president of Customer Supply Chain at Kimberly-Clark. "We are pleased to partner with GENCO ATC, Plug Power and Air Products to help expand hydrogen fuel cell technology to our entire forklift fleet. This energy technology can reduce our carbon emissions by hundreds of metric tons per year, lower costs and drive efficiencies to power our operations."
The supply chain industry estimates that annual greenhouse gas emissions created by an average 20-truck lead acid battery-powered forklift fleet can be reduced by hundreds of tons a year simply by converting to fuel cell-powered equipment. By using hydrogen fuel cells instead of lead-acid batteries, greenhouse gases can be reduced by over 90 percent, according to customer consumption estimates.
Air Products will fuel the fleet of forklifts which are fitted with Plug Power's GenDrive® hydrogen fuel cell power units. The GenDrive systems can be quickly refueled in less than five minutes, completely eliminating the need to change, store, charge and maintain multiple lead acid batteries per forklift.
There are many advantages to using hydrogen-powered forklifts and other material handling equipment. While traditional battery-powered equipment must be placed temporarily out of operation for battery replacement and required battery recharging approximately every four to six hours, hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment is refueled only once or twice daily, depending on use, and does not require change-out downtime. Hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment provides consistent power strength during use and does not experience decreased performance or wear down as traditional battery units do as they near a required battery change-out or recharge time. Additionally, unlike traditional battery operated forklifts, hydrogen fuel cell forklifts are not adversely impacted by temperature or by operating in coolers and freezers. Further, hydrogen-powered fuel cell equipment is more environmentally friendly and does not involve lead-acid battery storage and disposal issues.
Air Products, the leading supplier of hydrogen to refineries to assist in the production of cleaner burning transportation fuels, has unique experience in the hydrogen fueling industry. These varied fueling applications provide an opportunity to assess consumer experiences, evaluate product performance and advance product improvements. In fact, in certain market applications, fueling rates at several individual sites of over 10,000 refills per year are occurring. The company has placed over 120 hydrogen fueling stations in the United States and 19 countries worldwide. Cars, trucks, vans, buses, scooters, forklifts, locomotives, planes, cell towers, material handling equipment, and even submarines have been fueled with trend-setting technologies that involve Air Products' know-how, equipment and hydrogen. Use of the company's technology is increasing and is currently over 275,000 hydrogen fills per year.
Air Products has more than 50 years of hydrogen experience and is on the forefront of hydrogen energy technology development. Air Products has an extensive patent portfolio with over 50 patents in hydrogen dispensing technology. Air Products provides liquid and gaseous hydrogen, and HCNG (hydrogen/compressed natural gas) fueling, and has developed a variety of enabling devices and protocols for fuel dispensing at varied pressures. Hydrogen for these stations can be delivered to a site via truck, produced by natural gas reformation, biomass conversion, or by electrolysis, including electrolysis that is solar and wind driven.
About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE: APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. In fiscal 2010, Air Products had revenues of $9 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and 18,300 employees around the globe. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
About GENCO ATC
GENCO ATC is North America's 2nd largest and a Global Top 50 third-party logistics provider and the recognized leader in reverse logistics. The company manages 124 operations and 37 million square feet of warehouse space throughout North America for a diverse range of retail, manufacturing and government customers, including many Fortune 500 companies. As the industry's most innovative product lifecycle logistics provider, GENCO ATC provides a complete range of solutions, including forward logistics, transportation logistics, parcel negotiation and audits, reverse logistics, consumer electronics test & repair, product remarketing, damage research, pharmaceutical services, government logistics and operations management, supply chain technology and automotive remanufacturing. For more information, visit www.gencoatc.com.
Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 150 countries. Every day, 1.3 billion people - nearly a quarter of the world's population - trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company's 139-year history of innovation, visit www.Kimberly-Clark.com.
About Plug Power
The architects of modern fuel cell technology, Plug Power revolutionized the industry with cost-effective power solutions that increase productivity, lower operating costs and reduce carbon footprints. Long-standing relationships with industry leaders forged the path for our key accounts, including Wegmans, Whole Foods, and FedEx Freight. With more than 1,000 units in the field and over 2 million hours of runtime, Plug Power manufactures tomorrow's incumbent power solutions today. Visit us at www.plugpower.com.
***NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management's reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company's Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2010.
SOURCE Air Products