By Shuichiro Sese
Mitsui & Co. entered the hydrogen station business for fuel cell vehicles in the U.S. in early April. The Japanese trading house invested 1.3 billion yen in a major American hydrogen station provider in which Toyota Motor and Honda Motor had also invested to support the proliferation of hydrogen stations.
Mitsui jointly invested in First Element Fuel (FEF), a major American hydrogen station provider, with major French industrial gas supplier Air Liquide.
The Japanese company also plans to engage in the hydrogen station business in countries other than the U.S. such as China and Japan, which plans to install thousands of new hydrogen stations, by taking advantage of FEF’s expertise. Since Mitsui invested in Hexagon Composites, a Norwegian manufacturer of lightweight yet sturdy tanks that can be used for hydrogen stations, in 2016, it plans to encourage FEF to use Hexagon’s products. (Abridged)