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Japan: Air Liquide will open the first public hydrogen station in Kobe

H2 vehicle and hydrogen station

Air Liquide Japan announces that it will open “Kobe Shichinomiya Hydrogen Station” in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. It will be open in March 2017, after completing construction in February.

Subsidized by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan) and Kobe City, the station will be built adjacent to an existing petrol station in Hyogo ward, to contribute to local development of hydrogen mobility in Kobe area, the capital city of Hyogo prefecture.

The station’s footprint will be the smallest ever built by Air Liquide in Japan, as a model solution for major cities which tend to have geographical constraints.

The station employs the “compressed hydrogen off-site” system, bringing high pressure hydrogen gas from sources in Kansai area, and adjusting the pressure of the material gas to charge hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Air Liquide masters the entire hydrogen supply chain, from production to storage and from distribution to the development of applications for end users. The Group is actively participating in promoting the widespread use of hydrogen as a clean energy, especially for the transportation sector. At the end of 2015,  75 hydrogen charging stations have already been designed and installed by Air Liquide worldwide. In Japan, it co-runs two public-use hydrogen charging stations in Aichi Prefecture through the joint venture with Toyota Tsusho Corporation, and runs one in Saga, which was just opened earlier this year.

Air Liquide in Japan
Established in 1907 in Japan, Air Liquide now serves 15,000 customers across the country, particularly in Electronics, thanks to its 2,000 employees. The Group also has a Research and Technology Centre in Tsukuba (near Tokyo) and an Engineering center in  Kobe. Japan serves as a technology & research base for Air Liquide in Asia and beyond.

Hydrogen, a clean energy
Used in a fuel cell, hydrogen combines with oxygen from the air to produce electricity while releasing only water. Hydrogen can be produced from diverse sources of energy, including natural gas, but also from many renewable energy sources. This makes hydrogen one of the solutions for the supply of clean energy, while its storage capacity offers a guarantee of supply safety.

Blue Hydrogen
Is an Air Liquide program whose goal is to gradually decarbonize its production of hydrogen dedicated to energy applications. In practical terms, Air Liquide has made a commitment to produce at least 50% of the hydrogen necessary for these applications through carbon-free processes by 2020 by combining:

• the use of renewable energies, water electrolysis, and biogas reforming,

• the use of technologies for the capture and upgrading of carbon emitted during the process of producing hydrogen from natural gas.
 

Even when it is produced from natural gas, hydrogen is a virtuous energy: for equal distance traveled, hydrogen cars allow to reduce GHG emissions by 20% compared with internal combustion vehicles and don’t produce any fine particles.