Iwatani Corporation of America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Iwatani Corporation recently acquired four hydrogen-refueling stations in California from Messer (formerly Linde, LLC). The stations are Open Retail Stations providing hydrogen fuel to consumers in support of rapidly growing demand for zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
On 1 March 2019, Messer Group and CVC Capital Partners Fund VII completed the planned acquisition of certain businesses in the Americas from Linde plc. and now operates under a new company name, Messer. Together with Messer Group, the consolidated business represents a USD3 billion global enterprise with presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia. With more than 70 production facilities in five countries across North and South America, Messer today is one of the largest industrial gas companies in this region.
The four retail stations are capable of supplying up to 350 kg of hydrogen per day and are located in:
- West Sacramento
- Mountain View
- San Ramon
- San Juan Capistrano
The acquisition marks Iwatani’s entry into the United States hydrogen-refueling station market and expands the company’s total global hydrogen-refueling station network to 30. Iwatani is Japan’s only fully integrated supplier of hydrogen and presently supplies to its base of 26 hydrogen-refueling stations in Japan as well as industrial customers via three liquid and ten gaseous hydrogen production plants throughout the country.
The four California stations are the first of a series of stations intended by Iwatani for deployment in the western part of the United States. Iwatani is committed to continuously improving the customers’ experience and a number of upgrades are planned for the acquired stations. Our multi-year development program is aligned with plans by automakers and the state of California to extend the hydrogen supply chain infrastructure and make fuel cell electric vehicles available to consumers in the expanding U.S. market.
California is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, specifically from on-road motor vehicles, and has demonstrated significant support for the creation of a hydrogen infrastructure which is what attracted Iwatani to invest in California as well as establishing its new Branch Office in Santa Clara. Several state agencies, including the California Energy Commission, Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the South Coast Area Quality Management District, have provided important and much appreciated grant funding towards the development of these stations as well as funding that in part offsets on-going maintenance expenses.—Mineharu Okamoto, president of Iwatani Corporation of America
Since 1941, Iwatani has regarded hydrogen as the ultimate clean energy source and has consistently engaged in initiatives to encourage its widespread use. Iwatani is a Steering Member of the Hydrogen Council, a global initiative of leading energy, transport and industry companies with a united vision and long-term ambitions for hydrogen to foster the energy transition. To stimulate new hydrogen demand, Iwatani is developing hydrogen-refueling stations with the aim of the widespread distribution of fuel cell electric vehicles.