First industrial park to supply hydrogen fuel opens in South Carolina

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GENCO ATC, North America's second largest and a Global Top 50 third-party logistics provider, announced that it is partnering with customer Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Plug Power Inc., Air Products, and the Aiken-Edgefield Development Partnership to launch the nation's first multi-use industrial park fueling station to supply hydrogen directly for industrial, commercial, and government use. 

The fueling station supplies hydrogen directly to Kimberly-Clark's 450,000-square-foot distribution facility managed by GENCO ATC to be used with fuel cells powering Toyota forklifts.  Both the fueling station and the Kimberly-Clark facility are located in Sage Mill Industrial Park, Graniteville, South Carolina. 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and technology demonstration will take place inside the Kimberly-Clark facility on Friday, February 11, 2011, at 11 a.m. and will feature several executive speakers and Bobby Harrell, Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

"Kimberly-Clark is constantly looking for innovative ways to minimize the impact of our operations on the environment," said Rick Sather, Vice President of Customer Supply Chain at Kimberly-Clark.  "We are pleased to partner with GENCO ATC, Plug Power and Air Products to help expand hydrogen fuel cell technology to our entire forklift fleet. This energy technology can reduce our carbon emissions by hundreds of metric tons per year, lower costs and drive efficiencies to power our operations."

The fueling station and hydrogen-powered forklifts were made possible through the use of US$1.1 million of a US$6.1 million cost-share award made to GENCO ATC by the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"GENCO ATC is committed to green technology initiatives that are viable, equitable and sustainable for our customers and our company," said Herb Shear, Chairman and CEO, GENCO ATC.  "Hydrogen fuel cells represent the best in energy innovation as a sustainable, productive and clean alternative to lead-acid batteries."

The supply chain industry estimates that annual greenhouse gas emissions created by an average 20-truck lead acid battery-powered forklift fleet can be reduced by hundreds of tons a year simply by converting to fuel cell-powered equipment. By using hydrogen fuel cells instead of lead-acid batteries, greenhouse gases can be reduced by over 90 percent, according to customer consumption estimates.

"Today's event marks a key step in South Carolina's emergence as a leader in hydrogen fueling infrastructure and commercial use of hydrogen fuel cells," said Bobby Harrell, Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives.  "This fleet of hydrogen-powered forklifts will enable recognized employers such as Kimberly-Clark, GENCO ATC and Bridgestone to operate in a more efficient and environmentally sustainable manner, which embodies the practical applications of alternative energy that the state should encourage."

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