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Air Products’ Hydrogen Fueling Technology to Power Nestle Waters’ Warehouse Forklift Conversion

April 9, 2009

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., April 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Air Products (NYSE: APD), a global leader in hydrogen fueling and infrastructure, today announced the signing of a long-term agreement with Nestle Waters North America, Inc. to supply hydrogen and hydrogen fueling station technology for Nestle’s Dallas, Tex. facility, where it will be used to fuel a fleet of approximately 32 Class I hydrogen fuel cell powered forklifts to be used in daily operations. Nestle Waters is in the process of expanding its bottling and warehousing operations in Dallas and is converting its materials handling equipment to hydrogen fuel cell forklifts. The fueling station is to be installed and operational during the second quarter of 2009.

“This is a leading edge decision made by Nestle Waters to convert its materials handling system and use hydrogen as an energy carrier. It is a move that will provide operational, economic and environmental benefits for this bottling facility. Hydrogen fueling technology for materials handling applications is proven and cost-effective,” said Tom Joseph, business development manager for Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products. “This project also further strengthens our collaboration with Plug Power in providing alternative energy solutions.”

“This project is consistent with our commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable ‘green’ solutions for which Nestle Waters North America, Inc. aspires. I continue to be encouraged by the enthusiastic support from the front lines to senior leadership to introduce this capability and explore the responsible alternative energy options,” said Christopher Lyon, process improvement manager for Nestle Waters Fleet Services. “We look forward to this site proving the viability of future conversions.”

“The new hydrogen fueling association with Nestle is an extension of existing business relationships in supplying industrial gases and services to a familiar customer,” said Todd Geis, strategic account manager at Air Products. “We’ve been providing industrial gases and related services to Nestle at other locations around the United States for nearly 20 years. Hydrogen fueling, which is using our liquid hydrogen as its feed at this site, is an innovative offering that in the eyes of the customer sets us apart from our competition.”

Air Products’ fueling infrastructure at Nestle includes an outdoor liquid hydrogen storage and compression system, along with multiple indoor fueling dispensers for operator refueling. Air Products’ will fuel the fleet of new lift trucks fitted with Plug Power’s (Nasdaq: PLUG) GenDrive(TM) hydrogen fuel cell power units. The GenDrive systems can be quickly refueled by the lift truck operator in less than five minutes, completely eliminating the need to change, store, charge and maintain multiple lead acid batteries per lift truck.

There are many advantages to using hydrogen powered forklifts and other materials handling equipment. Hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment needs refueling once or twice daily, depending on use. In contrast, traditional battery-powered equipment must be placed temporarily out of operation for battery replacement and required battery recharging approximately every four to six hours. Hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment provides consistent power strength during use and do not experience decreased performance or wear down as traditional lead-acid battery units do as they near a required battery change out or recharge time. Additionally, hydrogen fuel cell forklifts are not adversely impacted by temperature or by operating in coolers and freezers, in comparison to traditional battery performance. Further, hydrogen-powered fuel cell equipment is more environmentally friendly because they do not involve lead-acid battery storage and disposal issues.

This announcement follows closely Air Products’ recent news of its hydrogen fueling project at the Defense Distribution Depot Susquehanna Pennsylvania (DDSP) in New Cumberland, Pa., where it is powering a fleet of 40 of Plug Power’s GenDrive hydrogen fuel cell powered forklifts used in daily warehouse operations. Additional related materials handling projects powered by Air Products’ hydrogen technology include installation of indoor hydrogen fueling infrastructure to fill a fleet of over 200 fuel cell powered lift trucks, working with Plug Power and Yale Equipment Services, which will operate at Central Grocers’ new distribution center in Joliet, Illinois in 2009, and similar work at a grocery chain warehouse in Texas since 2007, and manufacturing and assembly plants in Tennessee and South Carolina since 2006.

Air Products, the leading hydrogen supplier to refineries to assist in making cleaner burning transportation fuels, has completed over 85,000 hydrogen fills and has placed over 90 hydrogen fueling stations in the United States and 16 countries worldwide. Cars, trucks, vans, buses, scooters, forklifts and other materials handling equipment, and even submarines, have been fueled with this trend-setting technology that involves Air Products’ know-how, equipment, and hydrogen, and use of the technology is increasing at over 2,500 hydrogen fills per month. Air Products provides liquid and gaseous hydrogen, and HCNG (hydrogen/compressed natural gas) fueling, and has developed a variety of enabling devices and protocols for fuel dispensing at varied pressures. Hydrogen for these stations is delivered to a site via truck, by on-site natural gas reformation, and by electrolysis, including electrolysis that is solar and wind driven.

Air Products has more than 50 years of hydrogen experience and is on the forefront of hydrogen energy technology development. Air Products has an extensive patent portfolio with over 50 patents in hydrogen dispensing technology. For more information on Air Products’ hydrogen fueling station technologies go to www.airproducts.com/h2energy.

About Air Products Air Products (NYSE: APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. Air Products has annual revenues of over $10 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and 21,000 employees around the globe. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.

About Plug PowerPlug Power Inc. (Nasdaq: PLUG), an established leader in the development and deployment of clean, reliable energy solutions, integrates fuel cell technology into motive, continuous and backup power products. The Company is actively engaged with private and public customers in targeted markets throughout the world. For more information about how to join Plug Power’s energy revolution as an investor, customer, supplier or strategic partner, please visit www.plugpower.com.

About Nestle Water North America

Central to the leadership of Nestle Waters North America Inc. is its 33-year experience and single-focus on producing bottled water products. The company’s dedication to product quality control, manufacturing expertise, employee development and environmental stewardship, especially in the areas of water use, energy and packaging, has led Nestle Waters to the number one bottled water position in the U.S. Simply said, to reach success the company follows its credo: Respect for each other, respect for the environment and respect for the community.

Founded in 1976, Nestle Waters North America is noted for having seven of the top ten bottled water brands sold in the U.S. The nation’s number one ranked bottled water brand is Nestle(R) Pure Life(R) Purified Water which is available nationally. Other market-leading regional domestic brands include Poland Spring(R), Arrowhead(R), Ozarka(R), Deer Park(R), Zephyrhills(R), and Ice Mountain(R). Rounding out the company’s portfolio of bottled water brands are popular imports such as Perrier(R), Contrex(R), Acqua Panna(R) and S.Pellegrino(R).

Nestle Waters North America Inc., with 8,400 employees, is based in Greenwich, Connecticut. It is a corporate affiliate of Nestle S.A., of Switzerland. Please visit www.nestlewatersnorthamerica.com for more information.

***NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary materially, due to changes in current expectations.

SOURCE Air Products


Source: newswire