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Air Products to Lead DLA Hydrogen Powered Forklift Demonstration Program


Air Products (NYSE: APD) today announced it has signed an agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) Research and Development Program as lead contractor for a two-year demonstration program to develop an indoor hydrogen fueling station technology infrastructure to fuel 20 hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts for daily warehouse operations at the Defense Distribution Depot Susquehanna Pennsylvania (DDSP).

Air Products will collaborate with General Hydrogen, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), to retrofit 20 battery-powered Class 1 forklifts with General Hydrogen’s fuel cell power packs and provide Air Products’ hydrogen fueling station technology infrastructure for the pilot program. DDSP personnel will operate the fuel cell-powered forklifts alongside lead-acid battery forklifts in daily operations. Data to compare costs and operational characteristics will be collected and analyzed to support the development and commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell technologies for Department of Defense (DoD) operations.

“The DLA is to be commended for commencing this demonstration program. Hydrogen-powered forklifts provide an excellent opportunity to continue to grow the potential applications for the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier. We believe the program will demonstrate that hydrogen-powered forklifts will show productivity improvements during active warehouse operations, and also show economic and environmental benefits at the same time,” said Tom Joseph, business development manager for Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products.

Hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts need refueling, which typically can be completed in less than five minutes, only once or twice daily, depending on use. In contrast, traditional battery-powered forklifts must be placed temporarily out of operation for battery replacement and required battery recharging usually every four to six hours. Hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts provide consistent power strength during use and do not have decreased performance or wear down as required battery changeout and recharge time nears. Further, hydrogen-powered fuel cell forklifts are more environmentally friendly, without associated lead-acid battery storage and disposal issues.

This demonstration program is a continuation of Air Products’ work in the hydrogen-powered forklift market. Air Products has been participating in similar work at a manufacturing and assembly plant in Tennessee since January 2006 and a grocery chain warehouse in Texas since March 2007. The projects include providing indoor hydrogen fueling station infrastructure for fueling hydrogen-powered forklifts and automated guided vehicles powered by hydrogen.

Air Products has more than 50 years of hydrogen experience and is on the forefront of hydrogen energy technology development. As the world’s largest supplier of merchant hydrogen, Air Products is a leader in the development of the hydrogen infrastructure necessary to fuel hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen internal combustion engine automobiles, HCNG (hydrogen/ compressed natural gas) vehicles, and indoordispensing stations for forklift applications in manufacturing facilities and warehouses. Air Products has placed over 70 hydrogen fueling stations on stream in 12 countries, including stations in Beijing, China that will fuel buses shuttling athletes and visitors for the 2008 Olympic Games. Over 36,000 vehicle fuelings worldwide have already taken place using Air Products’ technology. The company has an extensive patent portfolio, with more than 50 patents in hydrogen dispensing technology.


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