Tanaka Precious Metals records highest shipment volume of fuel cell catalysts in FY2011; led by home use applications
Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K., which holds the global leading share in fuel cell catalysts, posted record shipment volume of fuel cell catalysts in FY2011 (April 2011 - March 2012). Using the shipment volume in FY2004 as an index of 100, shipment volume reached its highest level on record at 244 in FY2011, significantly surpassing the previous record level (198) set in FY2010 with an increase of 23.2%.
Looking at the total shipment volume by applications, the shipment volume of catalysts for home use rose by 67.2% compared to FY2010 (323) to 540 in FY2011, reaching the highest level on record. The shipment volume of catalysts for home use has increased steadily since subsidies offered by the national government along with gas and oil companies led to a 110.8% increase from the FY2008 level of 111 to 234 in FY2009, when the ENE-FARM was first released, and this then increased by 38.0% from the FY2009 level to reach 323 in FY2010. In FY2011, the release of a new model of the ENE-FARM and concerns over power shortages in summer and winter led to a rapid expansion of the market, which is believed to have brought this growth.
The shipment volume of catalysts for automotive use was recorded at 144 in FY2011. Since the highest level was recorded at 186 in FY2006 when R&D became active, the level has repeatedly made minor fluctuations in both directions over the past few years, at 133 in FY2009 and 162 in FY2010. Catalyst manufacturers are engaged in research and development for resolving the three technical issues of improved durability, higher performance and lower cost of fuel cells, and research and development demand is expected to continue to steadily increase ahead of 2015—the targeted commercialization date for several fuel cell vehicles.