Ballard Power (BLDP) Enters Fuel Cell Distribution Agreement with Toyota Tsusho (TM)

August 18, 2016 8:34 AM EDT

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Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP) announced that it has signed a Distribution Agreement with Toyota Tsusho Corporation ("TTC), a member Company of the Toyota Group. Under the agreement, TTC will act as a distributor of Ballard-powered fuel cell products in Japan. The initial term of the agreement runs to December 31, 2020.

Randy MacEwen, Ballard President and CEO said, "This agreement with Toyota Tsusho Corporation represents an exciting development for Ballard and important progress in the execution of our strategy in Japan. Toyota Tsusho is a large-scale player in Japan and around the globe, with interests in diverse areas and access to the tremendous network of Toyota Group Companies across a wide range of end-markets."

As the Toyota Group's sole general trading company – and one of the largest trading companies in Japan – Toyota Tsusho Corporation generated sales of 8,170 billion yen (approximately US$76.3 billion) in its latest fiscal year, ended March 2016.

TTC promotes the development of new business from a global perspective through its focus on Mobility, Life & Community and Resources & Environment. Toyota Tsusho Corporation's operations span seven divisions: Metals; Global Parts & Logistics; Automotive; Machinery, Energy & Projects; Chemicals & Electronics; Food & Agribusiness; Consumer Products & Services. Each TTC division maintains highly specialized expertise and also combines know-how and capabilities with other divisions to generate synergy and create new value.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has referred to hydrogen as an 'energy of the future' and the Japanese Government plans to spend more than $100 million on development of hydrogen infrastructure and various other hydrogen initiatives over the next 5-years.

Yuici Oi, TTC Chief Division Officer Global Parts and Logistics Division said, "We envision a number of interesting potential applications for Ballard fuel cell products including material handling, heavy-duty motive, continuous power and backup power in addition to powering a range of vehicles. The scope of our business interests offers a range of promising opportunities for hydrogen fuel cell technology."

Ballard plans to deploy an ex-patriate sales person in Japan to work with TTC on the execution of a joint sales plan.

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