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March 23, 2006

Largest LH Plant and One of the Largest Air Separation Gas Plants in Japan Opens HydroEdge Commences Long-awaited Operation on April 1

Iwatani International Corporation

Hydro Edge Co., Ltd. (headquarters: Osaka, President: Hisato Ueha, a Executive Director of Iwatani International Corp.), Japan's largest liquid hydrogen manufacturer and a leading producer of air separation gases (oxygen, nitrogen and argon) using LNG cryogenic heat has successfully completed its trial run from last November, and will start operation on April 1.
Hydro Edge was established on April 1, 2004 with capital of 490 million yen as a joint venture of Iwatani International Corporation (headquarters: Tokyo and Osaka, President: Akiji Makino, capital: 20,000 million yen), The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.( headquarters: Osaka, President: Shousuke Mori, capital: 489,300 million yen) and Sakai LNG Co., Ltd. (headquarters: Sakai, President: Tetsu Shioda, capital: 1,000 million yen) of Kansai Electric Power Group, and since then has invested over 10, 000 million yen in the construction of manufacturing plants and installation of equipment. Sakai LNG was selected as the partner for this venture due to our strong ties in the supply of LNG for cooling and natural gases for raw materials to produce hydrogen. The factory was built over an area of 32 thousand square meters in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture.
Using minus 163 cryogenic heat of LNG, industrial gases such as nitrogen, oxygen, and argon are efficiently separated from the air and processed in the plant. Using minus 196 cryogenic heat of liquid nitrogen, which is also manufactured in the plant, as the cooling source, liquid hydrogen is produced from hydrogen gas, obtained through steam reforming from raw materials, i.e. natural gases. In this way, hydrogen is liquefied in two combined processes at the liquid hydrogen plant and the air separation gas plant built side by side. This technique is being used for the first time in Japan, and enables us to produce 3,000 liters/hour at each of the two production lines, making the new plant the largest such operation in Japan. The new technique will reduce power consumption and boost cost performance in the production of liquid hydrogen. In addition, viable supply of products to the market from the air separation gas plant using LNG cryogenic heat will be around 12 million Sm3/month (sum of oxygen, nitrogen and argon) including supply through pipelines to neighboring factories, which is also the largest capacity in Japan.
HydroEdge aims to reduce the cost of manufacturing liquid hydrogen and air separation gases with two plants using LNG cryogenic heat, and especially for liquid hydrogen, employing these plants as infrastructure to boost demand from existing industries and provide a more accessible hydrogen supply in the form of liquid hydrogen with a view to encouraging widespread use of hydrogen in future, in addition to the present supply to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The company will help to meet future energy demands with gases produced using environmentally friendly methods, by focusing on issues affecting the global environment.
■Corporate Profile
Corporate name Hydro Edge Co., Ltd.
Foundation April 1, 2004
Headquarters 4-8, Honmachi 3-chome, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Factory 1-23, Chikko Shinmachi 3-cho, Sakai, Osaka
President Hisato Ueha (Executive Director and Deputy General Manager of Industrial Gases & Welding Div., Iwatani International Corp.)
Capital & investment ratio Capital: 490 million yen, Capital reserve: 490 million yen
Investment: Iwatani: 490 million yen (Approx. 50.0%)
The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.: 390 million yen (Approx. 39.8%)
Sakai LNG: 100 million yen (Approx. 10.2%)
* Half of investment is reserved for capital appropriation.
Type of business Manufacturing and sales of liquid nitrogen, liquid oxygen, liquid argon, and hydrogen
Start of operation April 1, 2006
■Plant Overview
Site area Approx. 32,000m2
Major facilities ・LH production facility: Liquid hydrogen 3,000 L/h x 2 production lines
・Air separation gas production facility using LNG cryogenic heat:
Liquid oxygen 4,000Nm3/h
Liquid nitrogen 12,100Nm3/h
Liquid argon 150Nm3/h
Start of construction May 2004
Sakai LNG Co., Ltd.
Headquarters 1-10, Chikko Shinmachi 3-cho, Sakai, Osaka
Representative Tetsu Shioda
Capital 1,000 million yen
Foundation February 2000
Investment ratio The Kansai Electric Power Co., INC.\t70%
Iwatani International Corp.\t12.5%
Cosmo Oil Co., Ltd.\t12.5%
Ube Industries, Ltd.\t5%