Logistics firm plans hydrogen fuel cells for Kimberly-Clark lift trucks

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Logistics firm plans hydrogen fuel cells for Kimberly-Clark lift trucks

March 26, 2010 - 09:05
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PITTSBURGH, PA, March 23, 2010 (Press Release) -GENCO Supply Chain Solutions, North America's second largest and a Global Top 50 third-party logistics provider, today announced the purchase of 25 GenDriveTMhydrogen fuel cell power units from Plug Power Inc. for use in lift trucks. The GenDrive units will power the lift trucks at a 450,000 square foot distribution center in Graniteville, SC that GENCO operates for Kimberly-Clark Corporation. The GenDrive units are expected to be received in May and June 2010.

Funding was provided as part of a $6.1 million award made to GENCO in April, 2009 by the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to accelerate the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell units and create jobs in fuel cell manufacturing, installation, maintenance and support services. Through this award, GENCO will deploy over 350 GenDrive units at Kimberly-Clark and other companies.

"We are excited about the opportunity to move this initiative forward," said Bob Simon, GENCO's project manager. "We've had a two-unit pilot program in place with Kimberly-Clark at their Graniteville, SC facility and look forward to the many benefits of the full deployment."

This sustainable solution eliminates the demand and cost of electricity and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, toxic lead-acid is removed from the workplace and replaced with hydrogen, which generates water as a byproduct.

"Kimberly-Clark continues to explore new ways to increase safety in the workplace and to minimize the impact of our operations on the environment," said Joe DeYoung, Kimberly-Clark distribution operations manager for North American Consumer Products. "We were recently recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a 2010 Energy Star Partner of the Year, and have led the personal product category of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI) for the fifth year in a row. Our pilot at the Graniteville site has been very successful, and we're pleased to be able to partner with GENCO and Plug Power in expanding hydrogen fuel cell technology to the entire lift truck fleet at this facility."

"GENCO understands the value provided by Plug Power's GenDrive units," said Erik Hansen, vice president and general manager of Plug Power's Motive Power Division. "GENCO's utilization of the GenDrive solution puts it at an advantage over its competition, with respect to both productivity and corporate social responsibility. GENCO is creating a safer environment for its teammates and the community."