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Japan: Air Liquide opens a hydrogen station in Shichinomiya, Kobe

Air Liquide Japan is pleased to announce that it has completed the construction of its Kobe Shichinoniya Hydrogen Station in Kobe, Japan, and held its opening ceremony at the site. It will start serving public fuel cell vehicles from 13PM, April 3, 2017.

The newly constructed station is the first public use hydrogen station in Kobe City and the second for Hyogo Prefecture, built at waterfront area in 1-chome, Shichinomiya-cho, Hyogo-ku, located close to the city center of Kobe as well as arterial roadways including National Route 2 and the Hanshin Expressway. As the westernmost station in the Kinki region, it will help fuel cell vehicle users travelling to Chugoku Shikoku regions.

Kobe Shichinomiya Station is designed and installed by Air Liquide Japan, and is its 5th public use station, following two stations in Aichi through the joint venture with Toyota Tsusho Corporation, one in Saga, built in 2016, and one in Fukuoka, which was just open earlier this month. 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, with a capacity to recharge hydrogen-powered electric vehicles in less than three minutes.

The station will benefit from METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan)  and Kobe CIty support for its construction.

Air Liquide masters the entire hydrogen supply chain, from production to storage and from distribution to the development of applications for end users.To date, 75 hydrogen charging stations have already been designed and installed by Air Liquide worldwide. Air Liquide co-chairs with Toyota Motor the Hydrogen Council, which was launched in January 2017 by 13 global leading companies to voice a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the energy transition.

Shiro YAHARA, President and CEO of Air Liquide Japan:“This project is a good illustration of our intention to contribute to the development of hydrogen energy, a promising solution to the preservation of our future environment, capitalizing on the Group’s expertise and innovation in hydrogen. It would be our pleasure if the compact station helps solve geographical constraints around deployment of hydrogen stations in city areas, particularly in Kobe, a birthplace of our business  in Japan.

kobe H2 station in Japan opening ceremony


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 at least 20% compared with internal combustion vehicles and don’t produce any fine particles.

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