Westport Innovations Inc.

Westport Innovations Inc.

October 13, 2005 14:15 ET

Westport Innovations Inc.: Minister Emerson Announces $12.2 Million for Hydrogen Technologies Project

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 13, 2005) -

Westport to Showcase Four Hydrogen-Blend Buses with TransLink

Westport Innovations Inc. (TSX:WPT) today announced its participation in the launch of an $18.3 million hydrogen technologies project supported by the Government of Canada, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), and a consortium of Vancouver-based industry partners.

Led by North Vancouver-based Sacre-Davey Innovations Inc., the three-year Integrated Waste Hydrogen Utilization Project (IWHUP) received a contribution of $6 million from the Hydrogen Early Adopters (h2EA) program, $5.9 million from SDTC and $273,000 from Natural Resources Canada's Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance (CTFCA). This support has been leveraged by a contribution of $6.1 million from industry for a total project value of $18.3 million.

The Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry, and Don Bell, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver, made the announcement on behalf of the federal government.

"Protecting our environment calls on industry, government, and individual Canadians to participate and cooperate in a meaningful way, making changes that have an impact," said Minister Emerson.

"Projects like this demonstrate a public and private sector commitment to making the hydrogen economy a reality, and to promoting innovation and demonstration of the real potential of green energy technologies here in Canada," added Don Bell.

The IWHUP will demonstrate clean energy solutions that make use of an existing but currently untapped source of hydrogen fuel - hydrogen emitted as the by-product of a sodium chlorate manufacturing plant in the North Vancouver area. The purified hydrogen could be used to continually fuel a fleet of up to 20,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles in the Vancouver area, greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, local air pollutants, and the use of fossil fuels.

The demonstration will initially involve the operation of eight light-duty trucks running on hydrogen; a fuel cell system operating on hydrogen and providing electrical power and heat to a car wash, and four public transit buses converted by Westport for Vancouver's TransLink fleet to run on a blend of hydrogen and compressed natural gas (HCNG). Westport has previously successfully demonstrated this technology at SunLine Transit Agency of Thousand Palms, California.

Michael Gallagher, President of Westport Innovations Inc., said the local project reflects a growing global awareness and sensitivity to escalating and unpredictable crude oil prices and the need to diversify fuels used in the world's transportation networks.

"So much of our public transportation system relies on petroleum-based fuels, so it makes absolute sense to capitalize on all available clean-burning alternatives," said Gallagher. "TransLink is to be commended for its foresight in co-sponsoring this project, and for its recent decision to expand the region's natural gas bus fleet. These projects are a springboard to a lower-carbon, gaseous fuel future that will include HCNG as well as pure hydrogen vehicles. We are fortunate in BC to have the opportunity to advance the use of hydrogen as a vehicle fuel by leveraging our significant experience and investment in natural gas infrastructure and technology."

John Tak, President of Fuel Cells Canada, echoed Gallagher's comments saying that natural gas technologies such as HCNG offer an essential near-term bridging strategy for BC and Canada to achieve significant progress by 2010 toward establishing hydrogen transportation initiatives. Tak said the IWHUP project enables TransLink to take advantage of the inherent technical synergies between hydrogen and natural gas with respect to fuel production, storage, and use in combustion engines.

Tak added that the North Vancouver fuel station of the IWHUP - a key stop on the BC Hydrogen Highway™ - will be instrumental in demonstrating sustainable transportation for the Vancouver/Whistler 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Vicky J. Sharpe, SDTC's President and CEO, said the IWHUP announcement further builds momentum in the creation of a sustainable development technology infrastructure in Canada. "We see the strides that we can make when SDTC facilitates the assembly of industry partners along the supply chain - product developers, distributors and customers - to accelerate the market success of clean technologies. Our strategic approach is to do more than fund projects. We help to build consortia to create a full-scale market test."

Other project IWHUP participants include: Clean Energy Fuels Corp., Dynetek Industries Ltd., Easywash Inc., GWL Realty Advisors, Hydrogen Technology & Energy Corporation, Nuvera Fuel Cells, Powertech Labs, Questair Technologies Inc., and TransLink, the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority.

The h2EA program encourages Canadian companies to participate in a consortium of at least two organizations and demonstrate hydrogen and hydrogen-compatible technologies in real-world applications to accelerate the adoption of such technologies. The program intends to promote the awareness and acceptance of the broad environmental, economic, and social benefits of a hydrogen economy.

SDTC is a foundation created by the Government of Canada that operates a $550 million fund to support the development and demonstration of clean technologies - solutions that address issues of climate change, clean air, and water and soil quality to deliver environmental, economic and health benefits to Canadians.

The CTFCA is a $33 million federal government initiative that will demonstrate and evaluate fuelling options for fuel cell vehicles in Canada. Different combinations of fuels and fuelling systems will be demonstrated by 2008 - for light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles.

About Westport Innovations Inc.

Westport Innovations Inc. is the leading developer of environmental technologies that allow engines to operate on clean-burning fuels such as natural gas, hydrogen, and hydrogen-enriched natural gas (HCNG). Westport has technology development alliances in place with Cummins, Ford, MAN, BMW, and Isuzu, as well as an ownership interest in Clean Energy, the largest provider of natural gas for vehicles in North America. Cummins Westport Inc., Westport's joint venture with Cummins Inc., manufactures and sells the world's widest range of low-emissions alternative fuel engines for commercial transportation applications such as trucks and buses.

Note: This document contains forward-looking statements about Westport's business, operations, technology development or to the environment in which it operates, which are based on Westport's estimates, forecasts and projections. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict, or are beyond Westport's control. Consequently, readers should not place any undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. In addition, these forward-looking statements relate to the date on which they are made. Westport disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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