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NextEnergy, Michigan's non-profit alternative energy accelerator, has signed an agreement with BP to establish a hydrogen refueling station at NextEnergy's new facility located in TechTown in Detroit. The station, expected to be completed in the summer of 2006, will be BP's third in Southeast Michigan and one of several funded and operated by BP worldwide.

The BP hydrogen station at the NextEnergy Center is supported by U.S. Department of Energy's five-year fuel cell vehicle and infrastructure validation effort. The station will enable research and development partners to work on resolving barriers to offering hydrogen fuel commercially, including the creation of retail-compatible hydrogen refueling systems and the cost and feasibility of renewable hydrogen generation. Automotive industry partners such as DaimlerChrysler Corporation will use the station to evaluate which hydrogen fuel-cell technologies will have the greatest potential to achieve U.S. Department of Energy hydrogen cost targets.

"Hydrogen vehicles have great promise as a fuel-efficient, low-emission means of transportation," said NextEnergy CEO Jim Croce. "The industry has a lot to learn before fuel-cell vehicles become a reality for the public. We are excited to partner with BP to bring our automotive industry partners the resources they need to perfect fuel-cell vehicles for general use, lessening our dependence on foreign oil."

At its 45,000 square-foot technology center, NextEnergy is working with Air Products and Chemicals Inc. and BP on the design and construction of the hydrogen station and assisting with data collection and daily visual inspections for the facility.

"BP already produces cleaner fuels and lubricants, has grown its natural gas business, and owns one of the world's largest solar energy companies," said Giorgio Zoia, BP hydrogen business development manager. "Hydrogen, coupled with fuel cells, offers another route to deliver cleaner, more secure energy to customers, and we're pleased to partner with NextEnergy on this project."

In addition to NextEnergy and BP, several partners will be involved in the development of the hydrogen station:

* Air Products and Chemicals Inc., a globally diversified gases and chemicals company located in Allentown, Penn., will supply hardware and equipment.

* Albert Kahn Associates, Inc., a Detroit-based architectural engineering firm, will provide overall design of the station.

* DMA Technical Services, Inc., an engineering and project management firm specializing in alternative energy infrastructure for transportation and power applications will consult on the design and engineering of the site.

* Praxair, a Danbury, Conn.-based industrial gases company, will supply the hydrogen for the station.

* REB Research and Consulting, a Michigan based developer of hydrogen purification and production technology will provide a hydrogen purification system for the station.

About NextEnergy

NextEnergy is a non-profit corporation founded to enable the commercialization of energy technologies that positively contribute to economic competitiveness, energy security and the environment.

For more information, visit or call 248/304-1419.

About BP

BP is one of the world's largest energy companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items. BP employs more than 100,000 people and operates in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the United States, BP's family of brands include Amoco, ARCO and Castrol.

BP's investment in hydrogen demonstration programs supports the company's global commitment to provide lower carbon energy and cleaner fuels today and in the future. In the United States, BP offers natural gas for the industrial customer, solar power for residential and business use, low-sulfur gasoline for the driver and ultra-low sulfur diesel for the bus or truck fleet. In the longer term, that list may include broad use of hydrogen.

BP produces 5,000 tons of hydrogen per day and is a key player in hydrogen demonstration projects across the globe. Some examples of these projects include the following:

* BP is the largest hydrogen infrastructure partner in the U.S. Department of Energy fuel cell vehicle and infrastructure validation project.

* BP is the leading hydrogen infrastructure provider to CUTE (Clean Urban Transport for Europe), a pan-European nine-city fuel cell bus project.

* BP is a partner in the California Fuel Cell Partnership, and operates hydrogen fueling stations in Northern and Southern California.

* The BP company ARAL built the world's first public hydrogen refueling station at Munich Airport in 1998.

For more information, visit or call 630/821-3206.
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Publication:Worldwide Energy
Date:Mar 1, 2006

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