Press Releases


October 27, 2003

Notice regarding joint construction of hydrogen fuelling station by Kurita Water Industries, SINANEN, and ITOCHU ENEX

Kurita Water Industries, Ltd. (Headquarters: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo; President: Hiroshi Fujino), SINANEN CO., LTD. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Teruo Hattori), and ITOCHU ENEX CO., LTD. (Headquarters: Meguro-ku, Tokyo; President: Kiyomi Yamada) have announced that from FY2003 the three companies will participate in the national Japan Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Demonstration Project (JHFC) currently being promoted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and from November 2003, will commence the construction of a hydrogen supply facility for fuel cell cars in Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture. (This facility is scheduled to commence operation from April 2004).

Outline and Objectives of the Project

This project was advertised by the Engineering Advancement Association of Japan as part of "Empirical and other research on solid, high-polymer fuel cell systems", a project being subsidized by METI, and involves the verification and testing of facilities that manufacture and supply hydrogen fuel for fuel cell cars. This aim of this project is to identify any technical problems associated with conditions for actual use and to collect data about environmental capabilities, energy efficiency, fuel properties, safety and durability, etc. in an effort to further technological development in this field.

The Nature of the Facilities

The hydrogen fuel facilities to supply fuel cell cars under this project (the JHFC Sagamihara Hydrogen Station) will use vehicle-mounted hydrogen-production and hydrogen-compression equipment that can be used by multiple hydrogen supply facilities. The design of this facility also takes into account the fact that this equipment is to be used alongside existing auto gas stands and gasoline stands after deregulation, thus equipment to be installed has been kept to a minimum to save on space, and to enable a hydrogen fuel infrastructure to be deployed nationwide with minimum initial investment cost.

Through the trials conducted as part of this project, the three companies hope to accumulate know-how in the operation of hydrogen supply facilities for fuel cell cars so that together they will be capable of deploying these hydrogen supply facilities nationwide in the future when the use of fuel cell cars becomes more widespread.

The Efforts and Roles of Each Company

Some three years ago now, Kurita Water Industries moved into the energy business as a new business area, and through our participation in this project, we hope to further technological development and to generate momentum for the future commercialization of that technology.
As for Kurita Water Industries' role in the current project, we will be in charge of overseeing vehicle-mounted hydrogen-production equipment, as well as the coordination of the overall project.
SINANEN sees this project as part of their expansion into the field of new energy, an area that holds great promise, and through their participation in this project, hope to develop know-how on the supply of hydrogen to fuel cell cars and on running hydrogen supply stations.
In this project, SINANEN will be responsible for overseeing the operation and management of hydrogen stations.
ITOCHU ENEX has a network of 2,132 gasoline stands and 53 auto gas stands (direct-managed and affiliated stations only), and as such are attempting to get a handle on the foreseeable growth in hydrogen usage that is just around the corner, with a view to having hydrogen facilities operating alongside gasoline stands and auto gas stands in the future.
In this project, ITOCHU ENEX is responsible for high-pressure gas equipment and dispensers, etc.