VANCOUVER, CANADA – On September 16th Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLD) hosted the Governor of Osaka, Japan, Mr. Ichiro Matsui and his delegation at the company’s headquarters facility during the Governor’s trade mission to Canada. Governor Matsui is interested in furthering the use of clean energy technologies, including fuel cells, within the Osaka Prefecture.
Tony Guglielmin, Ballard’s CFO and a number of the company’s senior leadership team met with Governor Matsui and his delegation. Mr. Guglielmin commented, “It is an honor to have the Governor of a major Japanese city visit our facility and invite Ballard to participate in a November clean technology networking event being planned for Vancouver. We look forward to meeting a number of Japanese clean tech companies at that event and identifying other potential commercial opportunities in Japan.”
The 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 an ‘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 and wishes to expand commercial business in that country. A recently announced Distribution Agreement with Toyota Tsusho Corporation (“TTC”; www.toyota-tsusho.com/english), a member Company of the Toyota Group is an important step in that direction, with TTC 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.