Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation and Air Water Plant & Engineering Inc. (AWP), a subsidiary of Air Water Inc. which holds the top share of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) tank truck market in Japan, will establish a new joint venture, Hitachi High-Tech AW Cryo, Inc. (HTAW) to operate a manufacturing and sales business in North America for tank containers for transporting LNG and related products.
The North American natural gas market has seen prices driven down by an increase in production volume triggered by shale gas. This in turn has stimulated growth in demand, not only for large volume demand at large-scale power stations and other facilities, but also small- and medium-volume demand. As a result, natural gas is expected to find various applications, such as in small-scale power plants and LNG-powered locomotives.
In line with this, the partners said, there is a growing need for small- and medium-volume natural gas transportation means such as trucks and railways, rather than the conventional large-volume pipelines.
The newly established HTAW will manufacture and sell LNG transport tank containers and related products to realize safe, efficient transportation of small to medium volumes of natural gas. Specifically, HTAW will use Hitachi High-Tech’s sales expertise and network in the North American market to market LNG transportation tank containers that utilize AWP’s cryogenic thermal insulation technologies offering superior performance against shock and vibration during transport.
HTAW will focus its operations mainly on regional energy supply companies and major logistics companies in the US and Canada, targeting net sales of ¥12.0 billion (US$119 million) in fiscal 2020.