Air Liquide's Hydrogen Energy Technologies Filling BC Transit's Zero-Emission
Bus Fleet

WHISTLER, BC, Jan. 22 /CNW/ - Today in Whistler, British Columbia, BC Transit inaugurates the hydrogen station that will fuel its fleet of 20 zero-emission buses running in Whistler, and soon to be carrying athletes and visitors to the 2010 Winter Games.

In addition to supplying certified hydrogen fuel, Air Liquide designed, built, operates and maintains the filling station that will keep B.C.'s new fleet of green buses on the move. It will be the largest hydrogen filling station in the world with to capacity to fill 23 buses per day.

Air Liquide worked alongside Canadian companies Sacre-Davey Group, Hydrogen Technology and Energy Corporation and Hydrogenics Corporation to bring this project to term.

"Air Liquide's initiative in this world leading project represents another step in our strategy to actively develop Canada's hydrogen energy supply and infrastructure" said Luc Doyon, president and CEO, Air Liquide Canada.

Hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles produce no greenhouse gas emissions and they can be twice as efficient as internal combustion engines. In one year, while operating the 20 fuel cell buses, over 1800 tonnes of emissions are saved. In the 20-year lifespan of these buses, that means over 36,000 tonnes will be eliminated from our air.

Over forty Air Liquide stations have been installed throughout the world to date. Other Canadian programs include the Vancouver and Montreal airports, which are installing hydrogen stations to supply fuel-cell and internal combustion engine powered passenger and utility vehicles.

"Michael J. Graff, president and CEO, American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc. and a member of Air Liquide's executive committee said: "As we near the 2010 Olympics, Air Liquide is proud to show the world how innovative fuel cell technology can power public transportation and protect our environment. Air Liquide is actively contributing to developing alternative energies, investing 60% of its R&D budget in solutions that aim to preserve the environment and life."

Air Liquide is the world leader in gases for industry, health and the environment, and is present in over 75 countries with 43,000 employees. Oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen carbon dioxide and rare gases have been at the core of Air Liquide's activities since its creation in 1902. Using these molecules, Air Liquide continuously reinvents its business, anticipating the needs of current and future markets. The Group innovates to enable progress, to achieve dynamic growth and a consistent performance.

Innovative technologies that curb polluting emissions, lower industry's energy use, recover and reuse natural resources or develop the energies of tomorrow, such as hydrogen, biofuels or photovoltaic energy... Oxygen for hospitals, homecare, fighting nosocomial infections... Air Liquide combines many products and technologies to develop valuable applications and services not only for its customers but also for society.

A partner for the long term, Air Liquide relies on employee commitment, customer trust and shareholder support to pursue its vision of sustainable, competitive growth. The diversity of Air Liquide's teams, businesses, markets and geographic presence provides a solid and sustainable base for its development and strengthens its ability to push back its own limits, conquer new territories and build its future.

Air Liquide explores the best that air can offer to preserve life, staying true to its sustainable development approach. In 2008, the Group's revenues amounted to (euro)13.1 billion, of which almost 80% were earned outside France. Air Liquide is listed on the Paris Euronext stock exchange (compartment A) and is a member of the CAC 40 and Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 indexes.

Hydrogen vector of energy

Using hydrogen as an energy carrier is a promising alternative fuel solution for motor vehicles. Used in a fuel cell, hydrogen combines with oxygen in the air to produce electricity to power the vehicle, with water as the only emission.

Hydrogen can be produced from a various range of energy sources, natural gas, in particular, but also renewable energy sources. Hydrogen thus has great potential to provide clean energy and ensure reliability of supplies.

Air Liquide and hydrogen

To support car manufacturers in the development of their hydrogen-powered vehicles, Air Liquide has developed filling stations to fill fuel tanks with pressurized hydrogen up to 700 bar. These stations complete the fill-up in less than five minutes and as easily and safely as for a gasoline stop. Air Liquide has supplied over 40 hydrogen filling stations around the world.

Air Liquide's hydrogen revenue in 2008 reached (euro)1.2 billion. Air Liquide is present across the entire hydrogen energy chain (production, distribution, high-pressure storage, fuel cells and hydrogen filling stations).

Hydrogen energy demonstration projects

The Group takes part in demonstration projects that aim to develop and test hydrogen energy and help it to promote its social acceptance.

The Group is notably the general coordinator of the European Hychain program that tests hydrogen vehicles in 4 regions of Europe, and of the Horizon Hydrogen Energy (H2E) program, supported by the French agency for innovation, OSEO.

SOURCE Air Liquide Canada

For further information: For further information: Communications, Air Liquide Canada, Julie Brouard, (514) 846-7735

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