Linde Provides Hydrogen Fueling Systems for BMW Materials Handling Expansion

  Linde Provides Hydrogen Fueling Systems for BMW Materials Handling Expansion

Business Wire

MURRAY HILL & NEW PROVIDENCE, N.J. -- April 15, 2013

BMW Manufacturing’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, has more than
doubled its fleet of material handling equipment using hydrogen fueling
systems provided by Linde North America. The 4.0 million square foot
production facility now powers its entire hydrogen-fuel cell fleet of more
than 230 units to service the plant’s production and logistics functions,
making it one of the largest fuel cell forklift sites in the world.

Linde North America is a member of The Linde Group, one of the world’s largest
hydrogen energy producers and a leader in developing alternative fuel
technologies. BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich,
Germany and is the global producer of the BMW X3 and X5 Sports Activity
Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupe.

In 2010, Linde supplied a hydrogen fueling system with six indoor dispenser
stations to support more than 100 pieces of material handling equipment
operating inside BMW’s plant. The expansion more than doubled their fleet by
adding two new higher-throughput compressors, new storage tubes and
distribution piping, and eight new hydrogen dispensers. To date, there have
been over 200,000 successful hydrogen fuelings at the site.

The lifts and trucks deliver process parts to assembly machines throughout the
plant. The lead acid batteries that formerly powered lifts and trucks were
replaced with hydrogen fuel cells from Latham, N.Y.-based Plug Power Inc., the
leading provider of hydrogen based fuel cells in the material handling market.
With over 3,500 units deployed in revenue generating service, Plug Power has
supplied the largest motive fuel cell fleet in the world.

Mike Beckman, vice president of Linde’s U.S. Hydrogen Fueling team, said,
“Linde is proud that BMW displayed the confidence in Linde to supply the
hydrogen fueling systems for its expansion program. It proves that our
technology can help advance sustainability and lower emissions while also
helping to improve the bottom line. Hydrogen already is one of the most
promising alternative fuels. Because of the way it is produced, the hydrogen
we supply to BMW is truly green, with only a small carbon footprint incurred
during shipping.” The hydrogen is a by-product of a sodium chlorate plant
which Linde purifies, compresses and liquefies using electricity produced from
renewable hydropower. “BMW’s ongoing commitment to clean production is evident
in our recent expansion of our hydrogen fuel cell program,” said Duncan
Seaman, BMW Group, Head of Market Operations, Americas. “We appreciate Linde’s
partnership in supporting the expansion, making our entire operation more
sustainable.” BMW is able to boost productivity in two ways: Refueling these
trucks with hydrogen using Linde’s equipment takes an operator less than three
minutes, compared with 15-20 minutes to change out a battery. Also, fuel cells
do not degrade over time, as do lead-acid batteries when they begin losing
their charge toward the end of a shift. BMW also is able to reduce its total
electricity demand, since no battery recharging is required, and eliminate the
environmental disposal costs for lead acid batteries.

Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power, said, “We are pleased BMW has selected Linde as
the hydrogen provider at their new manufacturing facility. We are also
thrilled to work alongside Linde, a leader in the safe production, handling
and supply of hydrogen and it makes sense they would be chosen to work with
BMW to help them achieve their sustainability goals.”

Linde is a leading supplier of hydrogen fueling systems, having equipped over
80 stations in 15 countries. In the U.S., Linde has supplied stations for fork
lift trucks at distribution centers for large retail, soft drink and food
service companies.

BMW is using Linde’s Ionic Compressor fueling system, which is also being used
extensively in Europe for cars and buses. “Linde is a technology company, not
just a hydrogen supplier. It is nice to see that our fueling solution has
allowed BMW to achieve significant benefits from choosing hydrogen as a
reliable and clean fuel for their production facility,” Beckman said.

The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around
62,000 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2012 financial
year, Linde generated revenue of EUR 15.280 bn (USD 19.9 bn). The strategy of
the Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the
expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and
services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners,
employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas,
regions and locations across the globe. The company is committed to
technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and
sustainable development.

Under the “Clean Technology by Linde” label, the company offers a wide range
of products and technologies that help to render renewable energy sources
financially viable, and significantly slow down the depletion of fossil
resources or reduce the level of CO[2] emitted. This ranges from specialty
gases for solar module manufacturing, industrial – scale CO[2] separation and
application technologies to alternative fuels and energy carriers such as
liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen. For more information, go to


Linde corporate communications
Amy Ficon, 908-771-1491
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