Fuel Cell Company and Distributor Team Up

Avista Labs, a developer and manufacturer of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, and Airgas, the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, specialty and medical gases, have entered an agreement for Airgas to offer Avista Labs’ commercial and industrial fuel cell customers a hydrogen fuel supply.

Spokane, Washington and Radnor, Pennsylvania – November 6, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Airgas also will provide Avista Labs’ customers with services related to fuel supply, including site preparation and installation, monitoring and fuel replenishment, and safety consultation regarding the storage and use of hydrogen fuel. The agreement, extending through 2005, calls for Avista Labs and Airgas to work together to further develop the market for hydrogen-powered fuel cells in the United States. Airgas’ national network includes nearly 800 locations, including 25 facilities currently filling hydrogen cylinders that will be used by Avista Labs fuel cells. Airgas also provides a complete line of specialty gas equipment. “Avista Labs has established a leading position in the fuel cell space by selling commercial products today,” said Tom Thoman, vice president-gases for Airgas. “Airgas intends to take the lead in hydrogen supply and related services, which we believe will help boost the market acceptance of fuel cells. We see the unique, modular cartridge technology of Avista Labs as the right opportunity to begin this initiative.” “Airgas is the largest U.S. distributor of packaged hydrogen fuel,” said Mike Davis, Avista Labs CEO. “Their products, including monitoring and operational safety equipment, and expertise in gas distribution are key to the development of a larger market for all hydrogen-powered fuel cells. This agreement will ensure that Avista Labs’ fuel cell customers have access to the best available commercial source for hydrogen. We are very pleased to be working with Airgas, as the leader in its business.”
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