Hydrogen storage test facility breaks ground in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-8-26 15:24:34

The construction of a test facility to check the performance of various kinds of innovative hydrogen storage tanks broke ground on Monday in the southwestern Japanese prefecture of Fukuoka, local press reported.

The tanks are being built to store hydrogen for the next generation of fuel cell vehicles.

The new test plant is being built in Itoshima City, where a series of international fuel cell-related testing facilities and research and development (R&D) institutions are situated.

The goal of the project, under the auspices of the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell in the Economy (IPHE) launched in 2003, is to form a hub for the industry here in Japan ahead of the commercial launch of fuel cell vehicles scheduled for 2015.

On Monday, more than 100 people attended a ground-breaking ceremony held at the construction site where the building will be completed in March 2014. There, Fukuoka Governor Hiroshi Ogawa expressed his strong hope that the prefecture will create Japan's first hydrogen energy-dependent community as soon as possible with state-of-the-art technology, according to Japan's public broadcaster Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK).

According to a spokesperson at the prefectural office, the new facility will have a total floor space of 2,700 square meters and researchers will conduct a series of tests to check the performance of high-pressure tanks for storing hydrogen as well as water to develop safer commercial models that are expected to be made of "durable" carbon fiber.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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