COLUMBIA, SC, October 8, 2007 — SC Launch!, an SCRA collaboration, presented $14,000 to another South Carolina-based company, Amcor PET Packaging, at the National Hydrogen Association’s “Military Uses of Hydrogen” conference in Columbia, SC last week. This contribution represents the final installment of a total award of $84,000, which is underwriting all hydrogen fueling and infrastructure costs for six South Carolina companies to participate in a demonstration project that was launched in July as part of the Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge.
The demonstration project comprises deployment and operation of two fuel cell-powered fork lifts at host companies’ warehouse facilities throughout South Carolina. The project integrates Hygrogenics’ proprietary fuel cell power packs into lift trucks supplied by LiftOne, a division of Carolina Tractor.
The objective of the project is to have end-users experience an economically viable alternative to traditional, battery-powered trucks, accelerating market acceptance of a new technology with promising growth opportunities. Fuel cell-powered trucks provide long-term value for fleets where trucks are required to operate full-time in an air quality-sensitive environment.
This South Carolina partnership represents a first-of-a-kind, national effort in the material handling equipment industry. The project currently is in its third of six planned customer deployments in which the project participants will incorporate the fuel cell lift trucks into the daily operations of their warehouses facilities. The four initial partnering companies selected as host sites are: ISOLA Laminates in Ridgeway, Leigh Fibers in Spartanburg, Michelin North America in Columbia and PBR Columbia in West Columbia. The newest site to join the project is Amcor PET Packaging in Blythewood, SC.
“This project demonstrates how successful collaborations within South Carolina continue to grow our state’s knowledge economy,” said Bill Mahoney, SCRA CEO. “This partnership among the Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge, Hydrogenics and LiftOne brings even greater economic possibilities to the Midlands and to the state through greater awareness of the benefits of alternative energy.”
The level of interest this project has generated with our customers has been nothing short of amazing! The enthusiasm and the high degree of knowledgeable inquires we have received have kept us hopping. Said Bill Ryan, VP and General Manager LiftOne and Engineered Solutions.
We’re very appreciative of the contributions from SCRA that are facilitating the introduction of hydrogen into these trial sites, said Daryl Wilson, Hydrogenics President and Chief Executive Officer. This is the kind of collaboration that contributes to successful partnerships and outcomes.
The National Hydrogen Association’s conference agenda featured presentations from expert panelists drawn from the departments of defense, energy and the individual military branches, and addressed the full spectrum of applications where emerging hydrogen and fuel cell technologies may find early markets in the military as well as in the private sector. These potential market segments include battery enhancement technologies, specialty vehicles (including fork lifts), auxiliary and stationary power production, and hydrogen production, storage and delivery technologies.
The South Carolina – based fork lift demonstration project began in July and has proceeded sequentially from customer to customer in two week increments. Operators and supervisors at each site are trained, and then operate the two lift trucks in their usual, multi-shift operations for a two-week period. Valuable performance and economic data about conventionally-powered fork lifts versus fuel-cell powered fork lifts will be the primary output from this project.
The fork lift demonstration is one of ten projects that has been announced and awarded by the Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge since it was launched in March, 2006. SC Launch! has provided a total of $200,000 to fund hardware and infrastructure costs associated with six of these projects. The second phase of the Fuel Cell Challenge was announced on October 2, 2007, and will seek to build upon the successes from the first year of the Fuel Cell Challenge.
About SC Launch!
SC Launch!, an SCRA collaboration, assists entrepreneurial start-up companies with up-front counseling, seed-funding, and access to a powerful resource network. The SC Launch! mission is to help generate knowledge economy jobs in South Carolina, enhance the state’s quality of life and provide opportunity for all South Carolinians in the new economy. For more information please visit www.sclaunch.org.
SCRA is a global leader in applied research and commercialization services with offices in Anderson, Charleston, and Columbia. SCRA collaborates to advance technology with industry, government, and research universities like Clemson University, the University of South Carolina and the Medical University of South Carolina. For more information
please visit www.scra.org.
Hydrogenics Corporation is a globally recognized developer and provider of hydrogen generation and fuel cell
products and services, serving the growing industrial and clean energy markets of today and tomorrow. Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Hydrogenics has operations in North America, Europe and Asia.
For more information please visit www.hydrogenics.com.
LiftOne, a division of Carolina Tractor, is a full-service material handling dealership, providing equipment
solutions to move and store customers’ product. LiftOne offers new and used equipment, as well as a large fleet
of equipment ready-to-rent. With a service staff of over 130 highly trained technicians, LiftOne services most
brands of material handling equipment at customer locations. LiftOne’s product brand lineup includes:
Cat® Lift Trucks, Linde Lift Trucks, Ottawa/Kalmar, Komatsu, LiftKing, and others. For more information please
About The Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge
The University of South Carolina, the City of Columbia, the South Carolina Research Authority and Engenuity SC
have organized the Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge to promote greater collaboration with private sector
leaders from all areas of the fuel cell market. The goal of the challenge is to create an unprecedented
deployment of fuel cell and alternative energy technologies into multiple city, university and commercial applications throughout the region. For more information please visit www.fuelcellchallenge.com.