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.