Nippon Oil to provide residential fuel cells for Japan Energy

Nippon Oil to provide residential fuel cells for Japan Energy

Publication Date:21-August-2006
06:30 AM US Eastern Timezone 
Source:Asia Pulse
TOKYO–Nippon Oil Corp. (TSE:5001) will provide Japan Energy Corp. with residential fuel cells on an OEM basis starting next fiscal year, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun learned Monday.

The two firms also plan to cooperate in product development and maintenance operations.

Nippon Oil has developed with Sanyo Electric Co. (TSE:6764), a fuel cell that runs on hydrogen extracted from liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It has also developed a kerosene-compatible cell with Ebara Corp. (TSE:6361) subsidiary Ebara Ballard Corp. Both are currently leased under the Nippon Oil brand.

Cumulative sales are projected to reach a market-leading 435 units by the end of the fiscal year, based on figures compiled by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

J-Energy now leases LPG fuel cells made by Toshiba Corp. (TSE:6502). With estimated aggregate sales of 63 units at fiscal year-end, the firm will be No. 4 in the market – behind Nippon Oil, Tokyo Gas Co. (TSE:9531) and Osaka Gas Co. (TSE:9532).

In the alliance, Nippon Oil will supply J-Energy with the fuel cells made by Sanyo and Ebara Ballard. Nippon Oil and J-Energy aim to cut costs by leveraging their pooled orders. The arrangement will also expand J-Energy’s lineup to include kerosene fuel cells.

J-Energy plans to continue leasing the Toshiba fuel cells for the time being. And in an effort to coordinate inspection and repair services, it will take part in a Nippon Oil development project with a device manufacturer.