VANCOUVER, CANADA – On November 17th Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLD) hosted a delegation from Japan’s Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) at the company’s headquarters facility during the OCCI’s visit to North America. OCCI is Japan’s second-largest such organization, with a membership of more than 28,000 corporations and individuals.
The delegation was comprised of representatives of companies with interests in the clean energy fuel cell space, including Osaka Gas (residential fuel cells and hydrogen stations), Hitachi Zosen (hydrogen production systems), Iwatani Corporation (hydrogen stations), Fujikin Incorporated (valves for hydrogen stations), Kajitech (gas compressors for high pressure hydrogen gas and biogas) and Takaishi Industries (rubber seals for low temperature, high pressure hydrogen dispensers). Senior members of OCCI’s management team also joined the delegation.
Tony Guglielmin, Ballard’s CFO and a number of the company’s senior leadership team met with the delegation. Mr. Guglielmin commented, “It is an honor to have Osaka’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry meet with us and tour the Ballard facility. We look forward to continued expansion of our commercial interests in Japan.”
Ballard had also hosted the Governor of Osaka, Mr. Ichiro Matsui, during his trade mission to Canada in September 2016. Osaka Prefecture is located in the Kansai region on Honshu, the main island of Japan. Osaka – a large port city and commercial center – is the capital of Osaka Prefecture, with a population of approximately 8.9 million people.
Japan has put significant focus on the deployment of fuel cell technology. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has referred to hydrogen as “energy of the future” and the Japanese Government plans to spend more than $100 million on development of hydrogen infrastructure and various other hydrogen initiatives over the next 5-years.
Ballard has a number of commercial ties with Japan, including a recently announced Distribution Agreement with Toyota Tsusho Corporation (“TTC”; www.toyota-tsusho.com/english), a member Company of the Toyota Group. TTC is now acting as a distributor of Ballard-powered fuel cell products in Japan. The initial term of the Distribution Agreement runs to December 31, 2020.
In addition, Nisshinbo Holdings Inc. is both a supplier to Ballard and, since November 2015, is a key strategic investor in Ballard. Nisshinbo Holdings is an “Environmental and Energy Company” Group providing low-carbon, optimized products across a range of business lines. It has been a long-time leading global supplier of carbon plates, used in the construction of membrane electrode assemblies, to the fuel cell industry and is currently engaged in a Technology Solutions program with Ballard that is focused on development of a breakthrough catalyst technology intended to reduce the cost of certain proton exchange membrane fuel cells.
About Ballard Power Systems
Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLD) provides clean energy products that reduce customer costs and risks, and helps customers solve difficult technical and business challenges in their fuel cell programs. To learn more about Ballard, please visit www.ballard.com.